Divac's ankle sprain is 'as bad as I've ever had'
By Joe Davidson -- Bee Staff Writer
HOUSTON -- Vlade Divac is a quick healer -- so says the big man himself -- but even this one will be a test of his old bones.
Thursday, in an 88-72 preseason loss to the Houston Rockets, the Kings veteran center hobbled off the floor with 1:47 left in the first quarter, his arm around trainer Pete Youngman for support.
X-rays were negative, but two hours after his sprain, Divac's right ankle was still grossly swollen, with sandals the only footwear that would work.
"Whoa!" bellowed Kings forward Tony Massenburg when he saw Divac's foot.
"Hey," Divac offered, looking at his baseball-sized knot, "It's baseball season! I was running, and I stepped on somebody's foot. It's really hurting. It's as bad as I've ever had. I guess it's better to have it now than during the season or the playoffs.
Kings coach Rick Adelman said the team can hardly afford to lose any more big bodies, not with All-Star forward Chris Webber out until sometime in December, still rehabilitating after knee surgery.
"We need all of our big guys, especially with Chris out," the coach said. "Hopefully, Vlade will be all right."
And there's Jabari Smith, the free-agent center who said he labored with a tender knee Thursday for a team-high 17 points.
"My knee really hurts, but I feel good," Smith said. "I was just real happy to get an opportunity to play. I've got a lot of talented teammates. It's so easy to play with these guys when everyone wants to pass."
Divac is questionable and Smith probable for Sunday's 6 p.m. home game against the Seattle SuperSonics.
Vlade and Chris hurting, King's have no chance now. >>o: