The Washington Wizards today placed Richard Hamilton on the injured list with a sprained finger, meaning the rookie guard will miss at least five games. Hamilton sprained the pinkie finger on his shooting (right) hand at practice Wednesday.

The Wizards activated Maryland rookie guard Laron Profit to replace Hamilton. Profit had been in the injured list since Nov. 18 with tendinitis in his left knee. Reggie Jordan, with whom Hamilton collided when he injured his finger, likely will be the first shooting guard off the bench, although Profit could see some minutes depending on matchups.

Hamilton returned to Washington Wednesday night and had his finger examined by team doctors today. X-rays reveled no fracture. It is unknown how long it will take for the injury to heal.

Hamilton was the Wizards' fifth-leading scorer, averaging nine 8.9 points and 19.3 minutes per game. In the Wizards' past two games against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers, Hamilton did not score and played a combined 17 minutes. His reduced playing time came as a result of starter Mitch Richmond's strong play of late.

Hamilton started six games earlier this season when Richmond suffered from a sore left knee, caused by tendinitis.

Forward Lorenzo Williams, who has spent the entire season on the injured list recovering from offseason knee surgery, was not brought on the four-game, West Coast road trip because he was suffering from back spasms. . . .

Note: Suns guard Penny Hardaway did not play because of a sore right arch. Former Washington guard Rex Chapman replaced Hardaway in the starting lineup.

CAPTION: Rookie Richard Hamilton will miss at least five games after spraining right pinkie finger at practice Wednesday.