Matt Barnes: Jan. 13 Injury Update

UCLA Health SystemMatt Barnes had successful surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee under the care of Lakers team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo on Tuesday morning, and addressed reporters after Thursday’s practice for the first time.

“It was a simple procedure, in and out, I was back home in three hours,” said Barnes. “I just want to get back.”

Barnes, walking under his own power without the help of crutches, was of course disappointed to get hurt and have surgery for the first time in his career, but felt a bit better watching the team rack up wins while he watched from home.

“The team’s been playing great while I’ve been down, I’ve been watching everything like a hawk,” he said. “I’m going to take this time to learn the offense a little bit better, watch some game film and just get my body back into it.”

Barnes is expected to be out for approximately eight weeks, typical for such a surgery, but an earlier return is among his goals.

“(Eight weeks) is what they say, that’s what the plan is, but you know me, I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to be back sooner and make sure I’m healthy at the same time also,” said Barnes. “My job is to do my part with the rehab and be prepared mentally as well.”

In fact, Barnes set a goal to learn the guard positions of the triangle offense. He’s obviously been focusing on the forward spots since coming to Los Angeles as that’s where he’s played, but thinks a better understanding of all the positions can only help him upon his return.