Injury ends Lamar Odom's European stint

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 17 2014 09:16 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2014 05:16 PM

MADRID - Two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom's foray into European basketball has been cut short due to a back injury, his Spanish club said Sunday.

Laboral Kutxa Baskonia said Odom's personal doctors in New York have ruled him unfit to play for two months, meaning "his present contract with the club has finished".

"The club hopes that the recovery process will go well and leaves open the possibility of resuming a future commitment to the player depending on the evolution of his injury," the statement added.

Odom joined the Spanish side last month on a two-month deal with an option to extend it for the remainder of the season.

The club, based in the northern city of Vitoria, said he 34-year-old power forward was suffering from lumbar radiculitis, a spine injury that causes severe lower back pain.

Odom played a total of just 23 minutes in two games for the Spanish side, scoring just two points.

He thanked his Spanish fans for their support in an audio message posted on the club's website.

"This is something that is beyond my control. This is beyond anyone's control," he added.

"It's up to me as a responsible athlete to, if I'm injured, to take care of it. I think everything happens for a reason.

"I look forward to getting back on court as soon as possible. I want to treat this injury and be aggressive and treat it and get it done," he said.

Odom has played more than 1,000 games over a 14-year career in the NBA, but has been a free agent since the end of last season after being released by the Los Angeles Clippers.

He played a key role on the Los Angeles Lakers side that won back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010, but has struggled to hold down a roster spot since leaving the Lakers the following year.

Odom has also endured a troubled time off the court as he was sentenced in December to three years probation and three months of treatment for alcohol abuse for driving under the influence and split from reality TV star wife Khloe Kardashian.

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