Washington Bullets guard Darrell Walker is likely to go on the injured list today -- meaning he will miss at least five games -- because of a severely sprained right ankle, a team spokesman said yesterday.

"It's one of the worst I've ever seen -- he'll be out a while," said Bullets Coach Kevin Loughery after yesterday's practice at Bowie State College.

A team spokesman said another player probably will be signed to take Walker's place, and a source said that player might be point guard Steve Coulter, whom the Philadelphia 76ers released earlier this season. Adding a player became something of a necessity when rookie point guard Tyrone Bogues sprained his right ankle during the team's workout yesterday.

Bogues accidently stepped on teammate Frank Johnson's foot during a scrimmage and walked gingerly from the court. Johnson was not hurt.

Bogues' ankle was encased in ice, and he said he felt he'd be able to play against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Capital Centre tonight. They have won seven of their last 11 games, are 10-12 overall but nevertheless still are in the cellar of the Central Division.

Walker was injured in the second quarter of Saturday's 109-96 victory over the Chicago Bulls when he landed awkwardly and crashed into the stands behind the base line after scoring on a driving layup. He missed the rest of that game and was examined both Saturday and Monday. But there was so much swelling that another examination will be done Wednesday.

"It was swollen this big on both sides," he said Monday, holding his hands close to a foot apart. "I thought it was broken."

In his previous four seasons in the NBA, the spindly 6-foot-4 guard had missed just two of a possible 328 games. Neither of the absences was caused by injury; one came last season with the Denver Nuggets when Coach Doug Moe didn't insert him in a game. The other was during the 1985-86 season, when then-general manager Scotty Stirling suspended him for a game for his part in an altercation with then-coach Hubie Brown.

"I guess the law of averages is just catching up -- it caught up with Buck Williams and I guess it caught up with me," Walker said, referring to the New Jersey Nets star who recently missed the first games in his career because he sprained an ankle Dec. 12 in a 122-107 loss to the Bullets.

The injuries tempered what might have been a spirited workout by a team that has won three of four games for the first time this season. The Bullets seek their first three-game winning streak of the season against Cleveland following their impressive drubbing of the Chicago Bulls, who entered Saturday's game with the best road record in the league.

"We looked at the films and it was even better than we thought," said Loughery. "We moved the ball well. There were more easy shots than in any other game this season."

Although guard Jeff Malone played only 23 minutes, scoring 13 points, Loughery said it was "his best game since he's been here," better even than the 48-point night against New Jersey last season. And at practice yesterday, Malone was talking about "establishing my passing game."

That might indeed be necessary if Bogues is unable to play. Frank Johnson (who had a season-high 11 assists against Chicago) will continue to start at point guard, but he'll be backed up by Malone and John Williams. At times, the Bullets might use 6-9 Williams at the point and 6-8 Mark Alarie at off-guard.

Before the season, John Williams said his chances of playing in the back court this year were "one in a thousand." Now he doesn't think the move would be a big deal. Neither does Loughery.

"The position that you're at on the floor doesn't matter if you're moving the basketball," Loughery said. "Things aren't that defined. The way the game is now, if your two-guard isn't an isolation player, there isn't much difference between him and the three-man {small forward} -- they both work off of the base line, and you're running a one-guard front."