Emeka Okafor sprained his right ankle yesterday and Tim Duncan missed a morning practice because of an upset stomach, depriving the already undersized U.S. Olympic basketball team of two big men on the second day of practice in Jacksonville, Fla.
Okafor landed awkwardly and turned his ankle during a drill about an hour after practice began. The ankle did not immediately swell up, and Okafor was taken for precautionary X-rays, which came back negative.
"Yeah, I worry, but hopefully it's not anything real bad," Coach Larry Brown said. "If it is, we've got to go to the [selection] pool."
Duncan felt ill and had a slight fever, prompting team trainers to have him skip the morning session of the team's two-a-day practices. He participated in the entire evening practice, a team spokesman said. Okafor's condition will be reevaluated today.
The absences left power forwards Carlos Boozer and Amare Stoudemire as the only big men. Okafor is the U.S. team's only true center, although Duncan is expected to man that position for long stretches during the Olympics.
Changes can be made to the roster until 72 hours before the start of Olympic competition.
-- From News Services