Gerald Wallace is finally headed back to Charlotte. It's just going to take a while.
A week after the Bobcats' top scorer suffered a partially
collapsed lung against the Lakers, doctors cleared Wallace to
return home. But there's a catch: he still can't fly.
So Wallace left Los Angeles on Tuesday in a charter bus loaded
with movies and videos to pass the time. A team spokesman said they
expect Wallace to complete the 2,400-mile journey late Wednesday or
It's still uncertain when Wallace, Charlotte's starting small
forward, will play again. The Bobcats lost the final three games of
the West Coast trip without Wallace, who is averaging 16.4 points a
Wallace was injured on a flagrant foul by Lakers center Andrew
Bynum late in the fourth quarter of Charlotte's double-overtime win
on Jan. 27. Wallace, who also suffered a broken rib after getting
elbowed by Bynum, had a tube inserted into his left lung to help
restore full function.
Wallace was released from the hospital Thursday, but told he
couldn't travel until he met a specialist Monday to determine how
his lung had healed.
A cardiothoracic surgeon determined Wallace could travel, but
not fly because of concerns about how his lung would handle the
reduced air pressure of airplane cabins.
Bynum's foul was upgraded by the NBA to a flagrant-2 foul, but
he was not suspended. Four nights later, Bynum tore the medial
collateral ligament in his right knee and is expected to miss eight
to 12 weeks.