ATHENS, Greece -- Allen Iverson has a broken right thumb but
was in the starting lineup anyway Tuesday night, hoping the
U.S. Olympic basketball team can bounce back from an embarrassing
loss to Puerto Rico in its opener.
Iverson originally injured the thumb on his shooting hand during
the team's 92-73 defeat Sunday, then aggravated it during practice
X-rays on Tuesday revealed a non-displaced fracture, USA
Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said.
"Will it keep me from playing? I hope not, I doubt it. I don't
think too much would keep me out of the game," said Iverson, who
has a long history of playing despite injuries.
Iverson, who has had problems with his right thumb before, shot
5-for-14, including 1-for-10 from 3-point range, with four
rebounds, three assists and three turnovers against Puerto Rico.
A sprained right thumb caused Iverson to miss the final two
games of the Tournament of the Americas last summer when the U.S.
team earned a berth in the Olympics. He also sprained the thumb
early in the 2002-03 NBA season.
"It's been bothering me and I hurt it again in the game last
night. I got whacked on it at practice today and it is just
bothering me," Iverson said Monday.
Iverson, one of the team's co-captains, played 31 minutes
against Puerto Rico -- the most by any American aside from Tim Duncan's 36.