EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace said he will start Tuesday night when the Lakers play the New Orleans Hornets, just 12 days after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee that was supposed to sideline him at least six weeks.
World Peace participated in a three-on-three scrimmage at practice Monday, and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said there was a 90 percent chance World Peace would play Tuesday.
"He's good," D'Antoni said. "It's probably a game-time decision, but he looks good. He's raring to go. The medical staff will make a decision tomorrow. It's unbelievable. He's different. ... I've never seen this before."
World Peace began running last week and shot around with the team Saturday and before Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He said he was ready to play last Tuesday when the Lakers played the Dallas Mavericks but hadn't been cleared yet by team doctors.
"It's not how sure I'm playing tomorrow night," World Peace said. "It's how sure I was playing three days ago. I was ready to play."
World Peace injured his knee late in the first half of the Lakers' 109-103 loss to the Golden State Warriors on March 25. After the injury he tweeted, "First ever knee injury. Recovery time hopefully is a week and a half." He would later delete the tweet but be right about the recovery time.
"Right after surgery, they were amazed how the swelling didn't even exist off of meniscus surgery," World Peace said. "You can play, but the swelling is what keeps you from playing, so when I didn't have any swelling that's why I was pushing to play. I wanted to play three games ago. It was good teamwork with the doctors and training staff. We have to make a push and make a championship run."
While World Peace likely will be back in the starting lineup Tuesday, Lakers guard Steve Nash is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game because of a hip injury.
D'Antoni had hoped Nash would be back by Tuesday but is now looking at Friday when the Lakers host the Warriors.
"He's going through some stuff," D'Antoni said. "He's not ready yet."
Nash experienced discomfort in his right hip after the Lakers' loss to the Warriors on March 25 and has since been dealing with the strained hip and a strained right hamstring.
Nash was able to play in the Lakers' game against Minnesota on March 27 but then missed most of the second half against Milwaukee, played just two minutes against Sacramento and sat out the entire game against Dallas last week. He has not played since then.