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Lakers’ Josh Hart to miss rest of season after procedure on right knee

Lakers’ Josh Hart to miss rest of season after procedure on right knee
Lakers guard Josh Hart blocks a shot by Phoenix's Richaun Holmes on March 2. (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Josh Hart had an ultrasonic debridement procedure on the patella tendon in his right knee Thursday morning, the Lakers announced. The team said he will be able to resume basketball activities in 12 weeks.

Hart played through problems in his right knee for several weeks. He had had tendinitis in his right knee since college, but also was dealing with a tear in the tendon. It caused pain for Hart any time he played and made jumping especially painful. Still, Hart insisted on playing as long as he could. He was advised that playing wouldn’t exacerbate the injury.

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Hart had missed the Lakers’ last four games as he decided how to proceed.

The procedure Hart underwent involves a small surgical instrument being inserted into the knee, with the help of an ultrasound machine. It then delivers ultrasonic waves that help remove tissue that is causing problems in the knee’s healing process.

In recent years, Pau Gasol and Anthony Davis both underwent the procedure.

It’s not the first time Hart has tried to treat his right knee. He also had a platelet-rich plasma injection on Feb. 11. After that injection, Hart sat out until the All-Star break.

Hart becomes the third young Lakers player whose season ended prematurely because of injury. Lonzo Ball has not played since suffering a severe ankle injury on Jan. 19. Ball’s injury included a fully torn ligament in his left ankle, the worst that injury can be without involving a broken bone. He also had a bone bruise in his ankle.

Brandon Ingram’s season ended when doctors discovered a blood clot in his right shoulder in the first week of March. Ingram had surgery a week later to clear an obstruction to his vein that caused the clot. Ingram will be able to resume basketball activities within three or four months and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Lakers have a lengthy injury list beyond those players. Reggie Bullock, who has plantar fasciitis, and Tyson Chandler, who has been dealing with the flu, will be questionable for Friday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets.

LeBron James, who did not travel with the team to Utah, is likely to play against the Hornets, having been listed as probable.

UP NEXT

VS. CHARLOTTE

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

On the air: TV: SportsNet LA.

Radio: 710, 1330.

Update: The Hornets are under .500 at 35-39, but they remain in playoff contention, 1 1/2 games behind Miami for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. They have won four in a row against Minnesota, Boston, Toronto and San Antonio, with Kemba Walker averaging 30 points a game in that stretch. Walker averages 25.2 points and 5.9 assists for the season. The Lakers had one of their easiest victories of the season at Charlotte in December, 128-100, with James getting a triple-double.

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