Mihm is out with a heel injury

Times Staff Writer

The story of the Lakers and their big men -- one comes back, and one goes away for a while.

Chris Mihm will be out three to four weeks because of a sore right Achilles’ heel, leaving the Lakers with Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum at center. In a pinch, Ronny Turiaf can also play the position.

Mihm will undergo weekly sonar-wave treatment on the Achilles’ heel, which is being affected by bursitis and inflammation, he said. Mihm has had his right ankle surgically repaired twice.


“It’s been something I’ve been trying to avoid,” Mihm said of the layoff. “We’ve pretty much exhausted every avenue to try and be able to speed the recovery on my Achilles while still playing. With Kwame being out the last four or five weeks, I wanted to stay active. Now with Kwame back and healthy, timing-wise it was a good opportunity here to try and do this. . . . “

Mihm is averaging 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19 games. He had an 11-point, seven-rebound effort Dec. 4 against Minnesota but had played only three games since then.

“We’re hopeful,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “It looked like he was struggling a little bit to play, so they felt there was something medically they could do to help him out.”

Mihm signed a two-year, $5-million contract in July to stay with the Lakers. The second year of the contract is a player option.

The Lakers weren’t thrilled with the one-game suspension the league handed Lamar Odom.

Turns out Odom wasn’t that pleased, either.

Odom was given a flagrant foul after appearing to slam his body into Boston guard Ray Allen near the end of Sunday’s 110-91 Lakers loss. Two days later, the league issued a suspension, which will cost Odom $120,441 in lost salary.


He will miss Friday’s game against Philadelphia.

“It wasn’t my ruling or my judgment, but if that’s what the league says, that’s what goes,” he said. “I didn’t think it was that excessive. I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I was just trying to make a play on the ball. If I would have cheap-shotted him, he would have known I would have cheap-shotted him.”

Just the same, Odom’s teammates joked with him during Wednesday’s practice. Trevor Ariza even got into a three-point stance, Odom said.

“I was a pee-wee legend,” Odom said. “I told these guys that at 12-13 years old, I was a monster on the football field, but my football days are behind me. I just watch now.”

Odom is averaging 14.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game. He will probably be replaced Friday by Turiaf, Jackson said.

The Lakers returned to practice Wednesday after Jackson gave them a two-day break. . . . Sasha Vujacic could not finish practice because of back spasms. His status is unclear for Friday’s game.