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News » 76ers will lose Speights until January

76ers will lose Speights until January

76ers will lose Speights until January At least until the new year, the 76ers will be without second-year center Marreese Speights, who was diagnosed yesterday with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

He hurt his knee in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 94-88 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Playing defense, Speights grimaced and grabbed his left knee. He went to the locker room with the Sixers trainer and did not return.

An MRI exam yesterday revealed the partially torn ligament. The Sixers' team doctor, Jack McPhilemy, said Speights would be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Speights' injury is a blow to the Sixers , who next play Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Wachovia Center. He was the Sixers' top substitute at 23.4 minutes per game, their fourth-leading scorer at 13.0 points a game, and third-leading rebounder at 6.4.

Last week treated the Sixers poorly: They lost 4 of 5 games, defeating only the winless New Jersey Nets, and dropping to 4-6.

The team did not practice yesterday.

Although last week's busy schedule flipped the Sixers' record from OK to not so good, Saturday's game against Chicago included a couple of the season's best moments: The Sixers held an early 17-4 lead and opened a nine-point lead in the third quarter.

Those moments, though, were too few.

Andre Iguodala, the Sixers' usually stoic swingman, said afterward that he "saw some good things" and that the team "made some improvements."

Sixers coach Eddie Jordan also seemed pleased, encouraged that his team took a step toward better Basketball.

In the game's first half, Jordan appeared to tighten his substitutions, playing just eight guys. In the second half, though, he went away from his first-half substitutes and gave time to different players: rookie guard Jrue Holiday ended the third quarter and started the fourth, and forward Rodney Carney played the game's final 9 minutes, 38 seconds.

To that point, neither had played in the game.

Carney's minutes came when Speights left with his injury. Those minutes were also at the expense of power forward Elton Brand, who sat out for the final 12:45.

Afterward, Jordan said: "No, I wasn't going to bring Elton back when Marreese went down."

In Brand's 31 minutes on the court, he scored 11 points on 5-for-11 shooting with six rebounds and three turnovers.

When he left the game, the Bulls were ahead, 61-58.

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 16, 2009


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