Lakers to get World Peace back in lineup

In need of a boost to their tenuous playoff hopes, the Los Angeles Lakers received some very welcome news on Tuesday.

Head coach Mike D'Antoni announced that Metta World Peace will play in Tuesday's critical matchup against New Orleans after the veteran forward made a quicker-than-expected recovery from surgery on his left knee.

World Peace was initially expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season after undergoing a procedure to repair a torn lateral meniscus on March 28. However, he was able to practice without restrictions on Monday, and D'Antoni confirmed the four-time All-NBA Defensive Team honoree will see time against the Hornets in a reserve role.

"It's still extremely impressive," teammate Kobe Bryant said of World Peace's fast rehab. "I call him Logan now. He's Wolverine."

Originally given a 4-to-6 week timetable for a return, World Peace will miss only six games with the injury.

The Lakers enter Tuesday's clash a half-game behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Western Conference with just five remaining in the regular season.

Los Angeles will still be without point guard Steve Nash, however, with the two-time league MVP set to sit out a fourth straight contest with a strained right hamstring.