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It was November 17th when Laker fans received the news that back-up center, Theo Ratliff, would have to miss 4 to 6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

17 weeks later, Ratliff has yet to return to the hardwood, however there may be some encouraging news for Lakers fans:

“Ratliff practiced today for the second time this week and if all goes well during scheduled practices this week, he could be sound enough to play” – Elliot Teaford (Inside the Lakers)

A return would add some much needed depth and veteran leadership as the Lakers head into the postseason.

With Derrick Caracter being a rookie and Joe Smith not getting much playing time, the Lakers currently have little to offer in terms of big men who can give them quality minutes off of the bench. Even in limited minutes, Ratliff can make a definite impact for the Lakers, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

Ratliff has only appeared in 8 games so far this season for the Lakers.

  • SHOWTIME4EVA

    Theo’s back? Who cares? To Phil it doesn’t matter, he won’t play him. We had Ebanks, we have Caractor, we got Joe smith? And we never see them not even for garbage minutes. Theo’s gonna just keep sitting right exactly the same place he’s been. These 3 “bigs” are a waste of time, space and money. Phils going to use LO and that’s not a bad thing. We as a team better learn how to shoot if Theo can’t solve that problem I don’t even wanna hear about him.

    • Niko

      I disagree. The reason why we don’t see Ebanks or Caracter is because we know that Coach Jackson is notoriously known to not playing rookies. Smith, on the other hand, is most likely not playing because he’s not a true center nor adequately defensively skilled to play center. Not to mention, Smith was traded for in the middle of the season and has yet to learn the Triangle. Not to mention how little practice these guys get, I’m sure that Ratliff is miles ahead of Smith in terms of their further understanding of the Triangle.

      All that said, I believe Coach Jackson would use Ratliff in short stints to relieve Gasol from playing the five-spot. Also, Ratliff was an excellent shot contender from back in the day, but is still a serviceable defensive center. The team would be much better with Ratliff at center than Gasol when Odom is playing the four spot.

      Ratliff would be great because our defensive “production” would not drop off as drastically as it does when Bynum is subbed out and Gasol playing center.

      The only waste of space and money is Luke. As far as I’m concerned, everyone has earned their money.

      Just my two cents.

      • Ben Larios

        Man you are on the money!!!

      • Dragon

        Yeah I would agree they usually have Bynum and Gasol or Bynum and Odom or Odom and Gasol. Better to sub for both instead just one of them. I have Theo and Odom for the second unit will help Bynum and Gasol get a full rest. Even he’s not a good defensive guy its just another big body on the floor to push guys around would help.

  • http://www.socialurl.com/roderickthead Roderick T. Head

    Nika, that is dead on!!!

  • TheLAKERSwon09