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Olowokandi Put on Injured List

February 01, 2003|Elliott Teaford

As expected, the Clippers put Michael Olowokandi on the injured list Friday and scheduled exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for Monday. For now, the team's medical staff is calling the injury a sprain.

Olowokandi sat out most of training camp because of what was termed tendinitis in his left knee. He also spent five games in December on the injured list for the same reason. He was sidelined for three games last week because of a bruised right thigh.

Depending on what's found during Monday's procedure, Olowokandi could be sidelined up to two months. If nothing is found, he would be cleared to play after sitting out the mandatory five games, which means he could be in the starting lineup Feb. 12 against Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards.

"I don't think anything will be known until they take a look at it," Coach Alvin Gentry said. "It's been an ongoing thing.... I don't think he's had the explosiveness he's had in the past."

Olowokandi, eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, has averaged 12.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 36 games.

Sean Rooks started in place of Olowokandi on Friday against the Phoenix Suns. Rooks played a season-high 32 minutes and had nine points and 12 rebounds in relief of Olowokandi in Wednesday's victory over the Chicago Bulls.

The Clippers activated Cherokee Parks from the injured list Friday. He had been sitting out since Dec. 13 after suffering back spasms.

-- Elliott Teaford

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