The NBA’s owners and locked-out players will meet with a federal mediator in hopes of resolving their deadlock and saving the 2010-11 regular season, which has already lost two weeks.

Union executive director Billy Hunter said Wednesday in an interview on WFAN-AM in New York that the union had agreed to meet with a mediator.

George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, told The Associated Press he will oversee negotiations between the sides starting Tuesday in New York.

In a text message, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said “We are working on scheduling a meeting for early next week,” USA Today reported.

Earlier Wednesday, Hunter told WFAN that the meetings with the mediator would begin Monday. But later in the day, an NBA source directly involved with the talks told TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott that the meetings would start Tuesday.

Hunter is expected to meet with NBA players Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

Cohen said he already has been in contact with representatives of both sides “for a number of months.”

“I have participated in separate, informal, off-the-record discussions with the principals representing the NBA and the NBPA concerning the status of their collective bargaining negotiations,” Cohen said in a statement issued by the Washington-based FMCS.

– Reported by and the Associated Press