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Scott Ailing, Won’t Play for Lakers Tonight

Times Staff Writer

Laker guard Byron Scott underwent a series of urological tests Thursday morning at Centinela Hospital Medical Center to determine the cause of urinary bleeding, which Scott has apparently suffered for several days. Results of the tests are expected to be known and released today. But Brian McInerney, a friend and business associate of Scott’s, said doctors have informed Scott that kidney trouble has been ruled out as a cause of the bleeding.

Scott, the Lakers’ third-leading scorer behind Magic Johnson and James Worthy, could miss a few games or longer, pending the diagnosis and recommended treatment. The Lakers said he definitely will not play in tonight’s game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Forum.

Scott, 27, complained to the Lakers’ medical staff about blood in his urine Wednesday. He has missed practice the last 2 days and, after being examined by Dr. Michael F. Mellman Wednesday morning, was sent to the hospital for further tests Thursday.

“I talked with Anita (Scott’s wife) this afternoon, and it’s a great relief to them that it’s not the kidney,” McInerney said. “They at first thought there was something wrong with the (left) kidney, so she said he’s relieved that it’s not that.”

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Scott played 42 minutes in the Lakers’ 122-117 loss to the New York Knicks Tuesday night at the Forum, while experiencing the bleeding. He made only 5 of 15 shots, was beaten badly on defense twice by the Knicks’ Gerald Wilkins and had a costly turnover in the final minutes. The next day, Scott informed the Lakers of his condition.

According to McInerney, Scott’s family physician advised him on Monday not to play in Tuesday night’s game. But Wednesday afternoon, while attending a charity function at a Santa Ana hospital, Scott felt poorly again and sought more tests Thursday.

“Everything is speculative right now,” Jerry West, the Lakers’ general manager, said Thursday. "(The doctors) aren’t even sure. There are some things they know it is not, but I’m not even going to say that. I know they feel a lot better about it today (Thursday) than Wednesday.

“He’s played a lot of games lately like that one (against the Knicks). I don’t know whether that was a reason. But it’s happened several times.”

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Gary Vitti, the Lakers’ trainer, said Scott also has suffered from an ulcer and back spasms this season. But Vitti said doctors apparently have found no connection between those afflictions and Scott’s current condition. “He hasn’t told me or the doctors that he’s been vomiting blood, which would indicate the ulcer problem,” Vitti said. “As far as I know, he’s just had the blood in his urinary tract.”

Scott’s scoring average, a career-high 21.7 points a game last season, has dropped to 19.4 in the first half of this season. After a loss to Sacramento Jan. 10, Scott said he experienced a return of his back spasms, which he said he had not felt for more than a year. He made 6 of 12 shots that night.

In Scott’s last 3 games, he has shot just 43.4% and averaged 13 points. Scott is shooting 50.4% for the season.

“Byron hasn’t been himself,” Laker Coach Pat Riley said after Wednesday’s practice. “He’s really ailing. He’s been playing under the weather for a while now, too. He had that sprained ankle that forced him to miss (2) games in December. Then his back problems returned. And that ulcer he has flares, too. It’s not the same Byron Scott.”

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