Allen to have surgery on ankle

Updated: October 31, 2003, 7:19 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Three-time NBA All-Star Ray Allen, facing arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle, said Friday he doesn't know how long he will be missing from the Seattle SuperSonics lineup.

Ray Allen
Allen

"The doctor hasn't given me any timetable yet," Allen said in a conference call from Los Angeles, where Dr. Richard Ferkel is scheduled to remove at least one bone chip from his ankle Saturday.

The shooting guard, whose return is a key to the Sonics' success this season, said Ferkel discovered one bone chip in his ankle through an MRI, but told him there could be more.

Ferkel will remove the bone chip and "other debris" in the ankle in a 90-minute operation, Allen said.

It will be the first surgery in Allen's basketball career.

While Allen doesn't know when he can get back for the Sonics, he said Ferkel told him he wouldn't be able to put any weight on his right ankle for at least two weeks.

"I need to take care of what I need to take care of," he told reporters. "I just know there's two weeks where I can't put any pressure on my leg. After that, I don't know."

Ferkel will put Allen's right ankle in a half cast Saturday, Allen said. The doctor will remove the cast and put it in a splint when he re-examines the player next Thursday.

Allen said the doctor discussed the possibility of tightening ligaments in both of his ankles, but decided against it after an MRI taken in Milwaukee, where Allen formerly played, showed they hadn't become any looser.

"My ankles aren't any worse than before," Allen said.

Allen was injured in practice and took himself out late in the third quarter of Seattle's final exhibition game against Golden State, on Oct. 22.

Allen, 28, averaged 24 points in 29 games for the Sonics last season after being acquired in a blockbuster trade that sent Gary Payton, the franchise's all-time leading scorer, to Milwaukee.

Allen has a 19.9-point career scoring average in 523 regular-season games. He also has averaged 24.2 points in 26 career playoff games.

Last summer, Allen was a member of the U.S. team that qualified for the Athens Olympics. In 2000, he played for the U.S. squad that won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.

The Sonics, with Ronald Murray scoring a career-high 24 points as Allen's replacement, beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-100 this week in their opener in Japan.

Allen said he has a lot of confidence that the Sonics -- and Murray -- will play well until he returns.

"On our team, we have great talent," he said.

The Sonics missed the playoffs with a 40-42 record last season.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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