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Brand's surgery is today

August 07, 2007|Jaime Cárdenas | Times Staff Writer

Clippers star forward Elton Brand will undergo surgery today to repair his ruptured left Achilles' tendon. The procedure will be performed in Wilmington, Del., by Dr. Craig Morgan.

Morgan performed surgery on Brand in 2002 when he suffered a minor cartilage tear in his right knee.

The Clippers have not given a timetable for Brand's return.

The team said it would make an announcement today on Brand's prognosis and his rehab schedule following surgery after a consultation by Morgan with team physician Tony Daly.

Brand, 28, suffered the injury Friday during his daily workout at Spectrum Club South Bay in El Segundo.

In the last three seasons, the two-time All-Star has only missed six games.

The task of replacing Brand's minutes could fall on current Clippers forwards Tim Thomas and Aaron Williams or a free agent. Free-agent power forwards currently available include: P.J. Brown, Anderson Varejao and Brian Skinner.

Brand was coming off the best three-season stretch of his career, averaging 21.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots. In 2006, he led the Clippers to their first playoff appearance since 1997, although the team missed the playoffs last season.

Typically players who suffer a ruptured Achilles' tendon miss six months to a year's playing time.

In 1992, Atlanta Hawks star Dominique Wilkins ruptured his Achilles and missed nine months. In 2004, Denver guard Voshon Lenard ruptured his Achilles on opening night and returned for the last two games of the regular season.

Baylor, who tore his Achilles in 1970, said he told Brand that he is "young and healthy" and that he would "come back 100%. It's just a matter of how much time it takes."

jaime.cá rdenas@latimes.com

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