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Metta World Peace out with torn meniscus; return date unknown

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It's gotten to the point of high comedy now--another Lakers starter out with an injury. This time, it's the Lakers seeming Iron Man MWP, who will sit out indefinitely with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, when it rains, it pours.

For the Lakers, when it rains, it blizzards. In a lightning tornado. With a 8.9 scale earthquake, to boot.

The Lakers discovered today that their starting small forward Metta World Peace tore his left meniscus last night in the first half of the team's loss to the Golden State Warriors. This, according to Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times's tweet:

Originally, the injury was diagnosed as a sprain that would merely put his participation of tomorrow night's game in Minnesota into question. Now, it's questionable whether or not MWP will make it back for the rest of the regular season. In a tweet that Metta himself sent out earlier tonight (which has since been taken down), he predicted that he'd be back in action in a week and a half. With injuries of this nature, that is extremely wishful thinking.

World Peace, formerly Ron Artest, has been an iron man for the Lakers since his signing in 2009, playing in 293 out of a possible 301 games (and most of those 8 games missed were due to suspensions). This knee injury will be the first that's kept him off the court, as he's gutted out several other maladies to his back and shoulder.

The question is of course, who will get playing time now that 34.6 minutes of court time has been taken off the board. Kobe Bryant might shift over to small forward, a dicey prospect seeing as how the Mamba's ankle and extremely suspect defense will be tested even further against larger, more physical 3's. Jodie Meeks or Steve Blake, if the past is any indication, might get the starts from now on, with Earl Clark seeing much more time at small forward.

The Lakers have now seen all five of their starters and two of their primary bench contributors fall to major injuries, with Kobe being the only one not to miss a significant chunk of games thus far. This surely won't help a Lakers team that Bryant has admitted is "out of synch" and is openly inviting the Utah Jazz to take their playoff spot.

Stay tuned as more news surfaces.

--Mambino

--Follow this author @TheGreatMambino