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Shin Ends Hill's Season

Saturday, April 9, 2005; Page D04

Grant Hill's comeback season is over, cut short by a sore left shin.

The Magic forward has experienced pain on and off since being kicked almost six weeks ago, and Hill's stride recently has been thrown out of balance. He and team officials worry that if he favors the leg, he could re-injure the left ankle that sidelined him for most of the previous four seasons.

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"Ultimately, we're looking at the big picture," Hill said yesterday before Orlando played his former team, the Pistons.

Hill averaged 19.7 points on 51 percent shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 1.45 steals this season. He played in 67 games -- 20 more than the last four seasons combined.

In a tribute to his perseverance and performance, fans voted him as a starter to the All-Star Game, his sixth appearance in the league's showcase game.

After being hurt on Feb. 27, Hill missed three games in early March then returned for another 11 games.

But the pain flared up, forcing him to the bench for the fourth quarter of a game against the Wizards on April 1, and he hasn't played since.

MOVE: The Hornets put G Speedy Claxton on the injured list because of a strained right groin and activated F-C Maciej Lampe.

-- From News Services

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