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Spurs' Duncan Sprains Ankle Against the Pistons

Monday, March 21, 2005; Page D04

Spurs F Tim Duncan crumpled to the floor with a sprained right ankle in the opening minutes yesterday against the Pistons.

The Spurs said X-rays were negative and Duncan is day-to-day, but Coach Gregg Popovich indicated he doesn't expect Duncan to return soon.

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Before he left the arena, Duncan said he didn't know the severity of the injury. He missed two games earlier this month with a sprained right ankle.

"It's the same ankle that he sprained a couple weeks ago, but this was much worse," Popovich said. "It's going to be awhile."

Duncan's ankle turned in gruesome fashion after he scored and landed on Rasheed Wallace's foot under the basket.

"I didn't know what happened to him," Wallace said. "I just saw him go down and heard him say, 'Ah!' "

Duncan immediately grabbed his right foot as he fell to the floor, where he stayed for a few minutes before being helped off.

After X-rays were taken, he was pushed in a wheelchair to San Antonio's locker room. The two-time MVP and NBA Finals MVP began the game averaging 21.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks this season.

• BROWN STILL OUT: Pistons Coach Larry Brown missed his fourth straight game yesterday and is out indefinitely after having surgery related to a November hip operation. Gar Heard coached in Brown's place.

• KIDD'S PLAY: The Nets' Jason Kidd needs 22 assists to pass Terry Porter's 7,160 for 10th on the career list.

-- From News Services

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