Chris Paul out 4-6 weeks

New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday afternoon for a meniscal repair. Paul is expected to be out approximately four-to-six weeks. Paul underwent the surgery in Pensacola, Florida by Dr. James Andrews. He will be on crutches for the next two-to-three weeks and will begin rehabilitation immediately.

“Obviously this is a tough thing for me,” said Paul. “I have been fortunate through my career as a basketball player to not have suffered many injuries. The main thing is for me to get back healthy and to help this team however I can. Everything happens for a reason and I know I will come back stronger than ever. I have the utmost confidence in Darren Collison to step up in my absence.”

Paul tweaked the knee against the Golden State Warriors last Wednesday night, and then suffered the injury to the knee while chasing down a loose ball in the final seconds of Friday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

“You never want to be in this position to replace a guard like Chris Paul in the middle of the season,” said general manager and head coach Jeff Bower. “We want to continue to take advantage of the talent and skills that Darren and Marcus have shown over the course of this season.”

Paul has averaged 20.4 points, 11.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 38 games this season, ranking 1st in assists, 2nd in steals and 16th in scoring in the NBA.  Yesterday, he was named the Western Conference Player of the Month for January after leading the Hornets to a Western Conference-high 12 wins during the month with averages of 20.8 points, 11.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals.

Collison, a rookie out of UCLA, has averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 assists as a starter this season in Paul’s absence (5-6 record), including a 17-point, 18-assist effort in the Hornets overtime win in Memphis on Saturday. Paul missed eight games this season due to sprained left ankle.

Paul, a three-time All-Star, will not participate in the All-Star game, but will be on hand to support the Western Conference.