Hurt knee keeps leading scorer questionable

Updated: January 18, 2005, 10:59 AM ET news services

ALBUQUERQUE. N.M. -- New Mexico forward Danny Granger said he could be out of the Lobo lineup for up to six weeks as he recuperates from a knee injury.

"As far as how long it will take me to come back, I mean, I guess when my knee's ready," he said Monday. "I mean, the doctor said it can take anywhere from four days to six weeks. It just depends on the person."

Granger was listed as questionable for Saturday's road game against Utah.

Granger, the Lobos' leading scorer and rebounder, injured his left knee Jan. 8 while trying to block a shot in the first half of a home game against Wyoming.

He underwent surgery Jan. 10 to repair torn cartilage and missed last weekend's game against Air Force.

The school described the injury as a torn lateral meniscus and the 30-minute surgical procedure to repair the damage as minor.

"When I found out it was just a torn meniscus, I was happy," Granger said. "It's not a major operation. ... It happens in the NBA all the time."

A spokesman for the Lobos basketball program said Monday that a doctor will look at the knee again Wednesday.

Granger said his rehabilitation is going well.

"I do training, some running in the water," Granger said during a news conference at The Pit. "All they did was clean out part of my cartilage, which was torn. Once that heals up and I can put some impact on my knee, that is when I am ready to play."

The 6-foot-8 senior was averaging 19.5 points and 9.4 rebounds a game this season.

Coach Ritchie McKay said it will be up to Granger when he returns to the lineup.

"He has a lot to lose if we put him out there not fully healthy," McKay said. "I know he will be back in a uniform playing for the Lobos sooner than later."

Granger said, "When I'm ready to play, I feel confident coach McKay will play me."

The Lobos (14-3, 1-1) play their next two Mountain West Conference games on the road, against Utah and Brigham Young.