Jordan Hill cleared to ramp up workouts

LOS ANGELES -- If the Los Angeles Lakers end up making the deep postseason run the team hopes it can, then there might be some help on the way for their depleted bench.

Backup big man Jordan Hill was examined by Dr. Thomas Byrd in Nashville, Tenn., this week and cleared to begin running on an altered-gravity treadmill starting Friday.

The clearance comes just three months after Hill underwent what was considered at the time to be season-ending surgery on his left hip.

Hill will begin running with 70 percent of his body weight, according to the team. He will gradually increase the weight on the treadmill, barring any setbacks, and be cleared for full weight-bearing running and jumping exercises once he reaches 100 percent.

The team estimates it will take another 3-4 weeks of on-court basketball drills before Hill will be able to resume playing in games.

The four-year veteran averaged 6.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game this season.