Broken wrist sidelines Utah star

Updated: March 25, 2005, 8:05 PM ET
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko broke his left wrist Thursday night in a collision with Washington's Kwame Brown, ending his season.

Andrei Kirilenko
Utah Jazz
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Kirilenko, Utah's leading active scorer at 16 points per game, drove to the basket and crashed into Brown just 3:02 into the game. Kirilenko's feet went out from under him and he put his hands down to break his fall, landing hard on his tailbone and left wrist.

Kirilenko remained on his stomach for several minutes before going to the locker room, holding his left wrist and in obvious pain. The Jazz announced early in the second quarter that the wrist was broken and Kirilenko, an All-Star last season, was done for the season.

"I don't need any surgery, but it's broken," Kirilenko said after the Jazz lost to the Wizards 85-84.

Counting Thursday's brief appearance, Kirilenko played in 41 games this season. He missed 26 games after spraining his right knee Nov. 30 against San Antonio. He also missed a game Feb. 15 with a sprained right ankle.

Kirilenko, who signed a 6-year, $86 million contract extension in October, had never missed more than four games in his first three seasons.

Kirilenko's injury leaves Utah without its top two scorers. Carlos Boozer leads the team at 17.8 points per game, but has been out since straining his right foot Feb. 15. Boozer is on the injured list and remains out indefinitely.

Center Jarron Collins is also on the injured list with a sprained right shoulder and point guard Raul Lopez is out for the season after surgery on his left knee. Utah has lost 183 games to injuries this season.

For a team that had ironmen John Stockton and Karl Malone for so long, it's a fairly new problem to deal with.

"This franchise has been very, very lucky over the years and this doesn't seem to be one of the years that has been in our favor," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "No one else cares but us. That's why you have to keep going forward. That's why other guys have to be ready to play when an opportunity comes."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press