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Pacers PG Collison expects to play in Game 3

- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison says he expects to play Thursday in Game 3 against Chicago after spraining his left ankle.

The second-year point guard was injured late in the first half of Game 2 on Monday night when he stumbled into a cameraman on the baseline after a drive to the basket. He said Tuesday that he can't put much pressure on the ankle, but he plans to participate even if he's not fully healthy.

"It's a real good chance," he said. "If I can more than jog and run _ I may not be at full strength, but I know I'm going to play Thursday."

Interim coach Frank Vogel wasn't as optimistic. He says he's approaching the game as though Collison won't play.

"We're hopeful that he's going to be able to play," he said. "I don't know if he's going to be able to. He's day-to-day, so we've got to go in preparing for him to be out."

Chicago leads the series 2-0, but Collison is one of the main reasons both games have been close. His quickness has caused problems for the Bulls. He had 17 points and nine assists in Game 1, and had eight points in Game 2 before the injury.

"Darren probably played the best six quarters of basketball that he has all year," Pacers center Jeff Foster said.

Collison was disappointed that he couldn't finish what he started. He tried to run on the ankle and play in the second half, but he couldn't.

Collison said he has sprained the ankle several times this season.

"It's getting better," he said. "It's just one of those things where you stay off it as much as you can and it's going to heal."

If Collison can't go on Thursday, A.J. Price would start and veteran T.J. Ford would back him up.

"I'm very happy with A.J.'s production as of late too," Collison said. "I know he can step in and play some big minutes. And T.J. Ford has done a good job. He's an experienced point guard. So we're good."

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