C Tim Duncan is expected to be out two to four weeks because of a sprained right ankle and could miss most of the rest of the regular season.
The Spurs said yesterday they placed the two-time MVP on the injured list following an MRI exam. He flew home to San Antonio on Sunday to begin treatment while the rest of the team went to New York for last night's game against the Knicks.
The Spurs activated F-C Sean Marks from the injured list to take Duncan's roster slot.
Duncan -- the Spurs' leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker -- crumpled to the floor in the opening minutes of a 110-101 loss to the Pistons on Sunday after scoring inside and landing on Rasheed Wallace's foot. Duncan's ankle turned in a gruesome fashion.
San Antonio (50-16), the Western Conference leader, has 16 more games over the next 30 days before the playoffs start. The Spurs clinched a playoff spot last week and are contending with the Heat and the Suns for home-court advantage throughout the postseason.
Duncan entered Sunday's game averaging 21.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and nearly three blocks.
SUSPENSION SET: Magic G Steve Francis will be suspended for three games for kicking a courtside photographer last week.
The NBA initially suspended Francis indefinitely after he kicked a photographer in the fourth quarter of the Magic's loss in Seattle on Friday. After an investigation, the league settled on the three-game suspension.
Francis began his suspension at Portland on Saturday and will sit out Orlando's next two games.
-- From News Services