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Emeka Okafor has played in all 82 games in each of the past two years.
Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Injured toe puts Okafor on New Orleans bench for weeks

By Fran Blinebury, for
Posted Oct 1 2009 1:48PM

LAFAYETTE, La. -- After a disappointing finish and meek effort in the playoffs last spring, the New Orleans Hornets promised to be on their toes this season.

But not newly acquired center Emeka Okafor, at least for a couple of weeks.

After sitting out the first two days of training camp, further examinations showed that Okafor has a sprained toe on his right foot and the Hornets said Thursday that he will likely miss most full workouts for two weeks and probably the team's first three preseason games.

The Hornets also said forward Ike Diogu, signed as a free agent, has a strained left knee.

Okafor was obtained in an offseason trade for center Tyson Chandler, who coincidentally needed surgery to repair a big toe injury. That injury resulted in the nullification of Chandler's trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder in February. Chandler missed 37 games last season and in the deal that sent him to Charlotte for Okafor, the Hornets were hoping to get durability as an asset. Okafor has played all 82 games in each of the past two seasons.

"I don't expect him to miss a whole lot of games this year," Hornets head coach Byron Scott said on Wednesday. "But the one thing we want to do is give him ample time to heal. Right now, we're in the early stages of the season. We have training camp and then preseason.

"This is not a time for us to be concerned about whatever is going on with him right now ... It's a long season and we need him for the long haul, not just the short term ... I'm not real worried about it."

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