CLEVELAND (AP) - Forward Wally Szczerbiak could be out for three weeks with a sprained left knee, yet another injury for the bruised Cleveland Cavaliers.
Szczerbiak injured his knee in the closing seconds of the third quarter of Tuesday night’s 97-93 win over the Orlando Magic. He underwent an MRI exam that revealed a sprained medial colateral ligament, the team said.
Szczerbiak has been a key contributor for the Cavaliers, who raised their home record to 30-1 and have a 4 1/2 game lead over the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The 10-year veteran has played three different positions and is averaging 7.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 21 minutes.
He missed one week earlier this season with a bruised right knee.
The Cavaliers have had more than their share of key injuries. Forward Ben Wallace has missed 11 games and is expected to be out another three weeks after breaking his right leg on Feb. 26. Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas (16 games, broken ankle), guard Delonte West (16, broken wrist), swingman Sasha Pavlovic (9, sprained ankle), guard Daniel Gibson (5, bruised toe) forward Tarence Kinsey (7, ankle sprain) forward Darnell Jackson (11, broken wrist) have all missed significant time.
Guard Eric Snow hasn’t played this season because of a knee injury.
Ilgauskas is playing despite a broken nose and jammed thumb.
Szczerbiak had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2006 when he was with the Celtics. He missed the final seven games after averaging 19.0 points for Boston and the Minnesota Timberwolves, who drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 1999.
With Szczerbiak sidelined, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, who has used 10 different starting lineups, will again have to adjust his rotation. He’ll likely give more playing time to Kinsey and Gibson, who hasn’t played in Cleveland’s past two games and has struggled with his shot while recovering from the toe injury.
The Cavaliers host Portland on Thursday and will play six of their next seven at home.
Brown gave his players off on Wednesday.