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Nuggets' Anthony out three weeks with broken bone


Posted Jan 7 2009 12:21AM

DENVER (AP) -- Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony will miss at least three weeks with a broken bone in his shooting hand, but he won't need surgery.

Anthony was fitted with a red, removable splint Tuesday after breaking a bone in his right hand in a victory over the Indiana Pacers the night before.

He's been told by doctors he'll be out 3-to-4 weeks.

"Hopefully the healing process will be a lot quicker," Anthony said after returning to the Pepsi Center following his visit with a hand specialist.

Anthony was injured 9:44 into the third quarter when Pacers center Jeff Foster swatted at the ball, catching part of Anthony's hand.

He continued to play despite numbness in the hand, scoring 21 points before leaving late in the fourth quarter of a 135-115 win.

"Tough kid," Kenyon Martin said.

He's glad he didn't know the hand was broken. He didn't want to come out, not with the game still close.

"We just needed that game," said Anthony, whose team blew a 20-point lead before pulling away again in the fourth quarter. "That was a game last night that we couldn't let slip out of our hands."

Anthony has also been hampered by a bruised right elbow this season, causing him to miss three games in late December. The bothersome elbow will now get some much-needed rest as well.

"I'm going to make this time the best time I can, just by rehabbing," Anthony said.

Anthony's injury comes with the Nuggets on a four-game winning streak. Denver is 24-12 after 36 games, matching the Nuggets' best start since their first year in the NBA in 1976-77.

"If an injury is coming at a good place, it might be in a good place now," said Nuggets coach George Karl, whose team plays seven of its next eight games at home. "We can feel sorry on off days, but we can't feel sorry for ourselves when the games start. We've got to figure out how to win games."

Replacing Anthony's offense won't be easy. He's averaging 21.1 points a game.

"It hurts," guard Chauncey Billups said. "That's our best player, that's our No. 1 option."

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