Sixers Notes: 76ers' Hawes and Vucevic sidelined

Posted: January 24, 2012

Starter Spencer Hawes and rookie Nikola Vucevic were sidelined by injuries Monday night, which left the 76ers without their top two centers for their game against Washington at the Wells Fargo Center.

Hawes missed his fourth consecutive game with a left Achilles strain. Vucevic was out with a left knee/quadriceps strain he suffered in Saturday's 113-92 loss at Miami.

Tony Battie, who will turn 36 next month, started at center.

"We're bleeding as a team, and I hope I can be a Band-Aid and help us survive," Battie said before the game.

It was Battie's second start this season. He also replaced Hawes in the starting lineup on Jan. 11 when Hawes was out with a lower back strain.

Even though Hawes and Vucevic are listed as day-to-day, coach Doug Collins is being cautious about their return.

"One thing I learned about big guys is they carry a lot of weight," he said. "First and foremost, everything starts with your legs, whether it's Spencer's Achilles or Nik's thigh."

Collins said Hawes wasn't moving fluidly Monday.

"He was hitting the floor with his heel first, and those soft-tissue injuries - especially for a guy 7 feet tall - are hard to say when they will be back," Collins said.

Vucevic said he was feeling much better.

"I did some bike," he said after Monday's shootaround. "I tried to jump and it was hurting, so they kept me out of it."

With the injuries, Sixers president Rod Thorn said the team will evaluate big men in the next few days.

"We are going to bring in a couple of guys to look at," Thorn said in an e-mail.

One of them, he confirmed, is 7-foot Francisco Elson, who appeared in 62 games last season for Utah after playing one game for the Sixers the previous year. He had come to the Sixers from Milwaukee with Jodie Meeks.

Elton Brand, who was sent home from the shootaround because of a stomach ailment, was in the starting lineup.

"I feel better," Brand said before the game.

Home cooking

The four teams the Sixers play at home this week - Washington, New Jersey, Charlotte, and Detroit - entered Monday with a combined 14-53 record.

The final three teams on a seven-game homestand - Orlando, Chicago, and Miami - were 37-12 entering Monday.


 

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