West cleared to return from knee injury

NEW YORK – After six months of rehabilitation on his surgically repaired left knee, New Orleans Hornets forward David West(notes) has been fully cleared to return to basketball, his agent told Yahoo! Sports.

West, who will be one of the top free agents once the NBA negotiates a new labor agreement with the players, was given complete clearance after an exam with Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgeries on Thursday.

David West will become a free agent once the NBA's lockout ends.
(NBAE/Getty Images)

“The doctor has cleared him 100 percent, and cleared him to push [the knee] as hard as he can right now,” said West’s agent, Lance Young. “David can be ready for the start of training camp.”

West, 31, opted out of the final year and $7.5 million on his contract in New Orleans to become an unrestricted free agent. After tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in March, West decided to still opt-out in late June when his rehab was going so well. The Hornets remain motivated to re-sign West, and several teams with cap space – especially the Indiana Pacers and New Jersey Nets – have targeted him as a potential free agent.

West had been enjoying one of the best seasons of his career when he went down with the injury, averaging 19 points and seven rebounds.

Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
NBA owners, players make small progress in labor talks
Video: Blake Griffin goes to new dunking heights in commercial
MLB relents, says OK to Dirk Nowitzki throwing out pitch at World Series

Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Adrian a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Thursday, Oct 20, 2011