Back injury puts McKie's return to Lakers in jeopardy

Updated: October 6, 2006, 9:42 PM ET
Associated Press

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Aaron McKie had to cut his training camp practice time short Friday because of a sore back, raising questions about the 13-year veteran's health.

Aaron McKie

McKie missed 50 games last season because of a tear in his left quadriceps tendon. He appeared in 14 games, never becoming comfortable with the triangle offense.

The Lakers have 10 guards in training camp -- six of whom have guaranteed contracts, including McKie.

But McKie's continuing health issues have led to speculation that his two-year contract could be bought out.

"He understands this offense and now it's just physically whether or not he's able to keep up with it if he's going to compete for a spot," said Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis.

While McKie rested Friday, the rest of the Lakers spent much of practice talking trash, pushing and shoving each other on their fourth day of camp.

"It was testy some times," Lamar Odom said. "Everybody wanted to prove that they could play. Right about this time, you don't really get to show your individual stuff."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press