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Lakers say Matt Barnes' MRI reveals "continued improvement" in surgically repaired right knee [Update]

June 9, 2011 |  4:19 pm

Matt-barnes_300 After obtaining the results from Matt Barnes' MRI exam on his surgically repaired right knee, the Lakers said he has made "continued improvement" and his rehabilitation efforts will last for "at least another few weeks."

"We expect a full recovery," Lakers spokesman John Black wrote in an email regarding Barnes' injury, which stemmed from tearing his lateral meniscus in a regular-season game Jan. 7 against the New Orleans Hornets. "Other good news is that he has regained full range of motion in the knee."

[Update 4:45 p.m.: Barnes said swelling remains in his knee and that he's limiting his rehab with spot-up shooting, light weightlifting, continued medical treatment and keeping his knee attached to a compression machine that helps reduce the pain, swelling, tissue damage and muscle spasms.

"We figure we still have a long time to go," said Barnes, who said his rehab efforts involve working with Lakers trainer Gary Vitti and special therapist Judy Seto. "We're defnitely not rushing anything. We're just easing my way back into it."]

Barnes tweeted Thursday that his knee was "feeling better" and he expected the MRI results to indicate improvement. Though he returned to the court two months following the injury, Barnes said that he struggled adapting to limited lateral movement on the court. As a result, Barnes' ability to provide energy and efficiency in making hustle plays, offensive put-backs and cuts through the lane soon evolved into playing tentatively, relying too heavily on three-point shooting and committing silly fouls at the expense of sound defense.

Barnes spent the last 3 1/2 weeks continuing rehab efforts on his knee. Barnes indicated after Coach Mike Brown's introductory news conference 10 days ago that he suspected he was still a month away from being cleared to participate in running and jumping exercises.


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Photo: Lakers forward Matt Barnes received an MRI exam on his surgically repaired right knee Thursday, and the Lakers indicate his rehabilitation is on track. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times