Cats' Wallace takes bus home

Updated: February 3, 2009, 7:05 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Gerald Wallace is finally headed back to Charlotte. It's just going to take a while.

Wallace
Wallace

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 early Thursday.

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 game.

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.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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