By FRAN BLINEBURY and MIKE GLENN
Houston Rockets forward Carl Landry suffered a gunshot wound to his lower leg early this morning in a possible drive-by shooting or failed robbery near downtown, police said.
Landry, 25, was released after treatment at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. A team spokesman said he suffered a flesh wound and is expected to be out of the lineup for one to two weeks.
"We are very thankful and relieved that Carl’s injuries were relatively minor and that he is doing well," Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said in a statement. "Carl was the victim of an apparent random act of violence early this morning after the team arrived from New Orleans. We are in the process of working with authorities to gather more information. Carl was treated and released at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center for a surface wound in his left calf and a dislocated finger on his left hand. X-rays were negative. We expect him to make a full recovery and return in 1-3 weeks."
The incident happened in the 3100 block of Leeland, a short distance southeast of downtown, about 4:20 a.m., Houston police said in a preliminary report.
"Everyone is very happy Carl is OK," Morey said later today. "He came out of this with relatively minor injuries. From what we can understand, he was very lucky; obviously unlucky with the situation that happened to him, but he came out without anything major."
Landry and the rest of the Rockets had just returned from New Orleans after their 95-84 victory over the Hornets. The team's charter flight landed at Hobby Airport shortly after midnight, according to a team spokesman.
"Dr. (Tom) Clanton (the Rockets team physician) examined him early," Morey said. "I was in the hospital with Carl. It looks like a minor injury and he'll be out 1-3 weeks. Right now, we're focused on him and his family and the fact that he's OK; that's where our players' hearts are as well. I can't answer any detailed questions because it's an ongoing investigation."
According to police, Landry was driving when another vehicle bumped his car. He got out to inspect the damage and two shots were fired from the other vehicle as it slowly passed him, team officials said.
The second shot struck Landry.
Descriptions of the vehicle and its occupants were not yet available this morning. Police have not determined whether the vehicle may have bumped Landry's car in an effort to rob him.
"It's frightening for anybody. Everybody knows Carl and why the city loves him." Morey said. "He's a happy, upbeat guy. It was one of those situations where everyone takes stock. I think he's going to get through it because he's very positive, but I think he was very frightened."
Landry, in his second professional season with the Rockets, had played 23 minutes, totaling 12 points and six rebounds, and played a key role in the Rockets’ win at New Orleans. He is averaging 9.3 points and 5 rebounds this season.