Friday, March 27, 2009
Sore ankle sidelines Chandler
NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Hornets center Tyson Chandler has been fitted with a walking boot to immobilize his sore left ankle and is expected to be out of action for another one to two weeks.
The 7-foot-1 Chandler remained in New Orleans and did not travel to New York with the Hornets, who were playing the Knicks on Friday night.
A sprain of the same ankle sidelined Chandler for about a month earlier this season. He returned for 12 games but has missed his last four since his ankle began bothering him again.
Chandler has played 44 games this season, averaging 8.8 points and 8.9 rebounds.
The Hornets briefly attempted to trade Chandler to Oklahoma City two days before the NBA's Feb. 19 trading deadline. The Thunder rescinded the deal a day later, saying Chandler could not pass a physical.
Oklahoma City's team doctor cited concerns about a past turf toe condition.
Chandler has said his toe has been fine this season, but his ankle has bothered him since he sprained it Jan. 19 in a game against the Indiana Pacers. He then missed 16 games before returning to action Feb. 23 at Sacramento, when the Hornets began a seven-game winning streak, all with Chandler in the lineup.
Near the end of a loss to Houston on March 16, Chandler began limping again and said after the game that he did not believe his ankle had fully healed.
Team officials remained confident, even after Chandler was fitted with the boot on Friday, that he would return before the end of the regular season.
The Hornets, fifth in the Western Conference heading into Friday's games, will need him should they make the playoffs.
Chandler is one of New Orleans' best rebounders and defenders. His nearly 1.3 blocked shots per game leads the team. He also provides All-Star point guard Chris Paul with his best target for alley-oop lobs. The pair have combined for 62 alley-oop baskets this season and led the league with 106 last season.