76ers F Theo Ratliff is out at least three weeks with a stress fracture in his left leg after taking a nasty tumble in a preseason game last week. Ratliff, who got tangled up with Charlie Ward of the Knicks as both fell out of bounds last Tuesday, had the foot immobilized in a boot yesterday after an MRI exam revealed the stress fracture.

Philadelphia brought in free agent C Stanley Roberts for a workout and could sign him today, GM Billy King said.

The Sixers already are hindered by a rash of injuries. C Matt Geiger is out with a sore left knee, and F Tyrone Hill is out with a fractured left thumb.

MALONE'S WORK: Karl Malone isn't letting a sore lower back disrupt his workout schedule.

Dwight Manley, agent for the Jazz forward, said yesterday that Malone, suffering from a lower back strain, has been doing exercises that don't involve his back. He said Malone is down to 249 pounds and eager to play.

Manley said Malone is optimistic about playing in the last two preseason games, next Monday and Oct. 28. Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan said he is confident Malone will be ready to play in the regular season opener Nov. 2.

MILLER INKED: The Timberwolves signed free agent F Anthony "Pig" Miller, who spent last season with the Rockets, averaging 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 29 games.