The Los Angeles Lakers team physician has recommended Nick Van Exel undergo diagnostic arthroscopic surgery, a procedure which would probably cause the All-Star point guard to be out at least two weeks.
Van Exel has sat out his team's last three games - two due to the soreness and a clicking sensation in his right knee, and the other because of illness.Dr. Steve Lombardo recommended diagnostic surgery after examining Van Exel on Monday.
"Nick will make that decision in the very near future," team spokesman Raymond Ridder said, adding that Van Exel might seek a second opinion.
"At this point in time, we are not commenting on how long Nick will possibly be sidelined if he undergoes the surgery simply because we don't know what the diagnosis will be," Ridder said. "The one thing we do know is Van Exel won't play in Milwaukee tomorrow."
Van Exel traveled with the team to Orlando, Fla., for the opener of a six-game road trip against the Magic on Sunday - a game the Lakers lost 96-94.
But instead of playing, Van Exel returned home to have his knee examined because the soreness and clicking sensation he had felt previously persisted.
Van Exel, 26, played in his first All-Star game earlier this month. He is averaging 14.8 points and 7.7 assists in 46 games. In four previous NBA seasons, he averaged 15.1 points and 7.3 assists.