EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson
is recovering well following right hip replacement surgery and
walking with a cane, assistant Kurt Rambis said Thursday.
Jackson underwent the operation Tuesday at the Centinela
Hospital Medical Center, and was discharged from the hospital a day
Rambis said that Jeanie Buss, Jackson's longtime girlfriend,
told him the 61-year-old coach was walking with a cane. Buss is the
Lakers' executive vice president of business operations and the
daughter of team owner Jerry Buss.
"That's pretty good improvement," Rambis said. "He's more
upright, too, which is probably something hard to believe."
Rambis has been running practice in Jackson's absence and will
continue to do so until Jackson's return.
"His timetable is up to him and how well he heals," Rambis
said regarding Jackson's return to the team. Jackson told reporters
on Monday -- a day before the start of training camp -- that he
expects to be on the bench Oct. 31, when the Lakers open the season
Meanwhile, the Lakers continued to work on defense, and
sprinkled in some of the triangle offense Thursday. There were
times during a scrimmage that Tex Winter, the team's basketball
consultant who is considered the guru of the triangle offense,
stopped the action and pointed out mistakes.
"Whether [Jackson] is here or not, there's a learning process
that we have to go through with these guys," Rambis said. "We've
got a bunch of guys trying to learn the offense, guys learning how
to play together. So, its a process."