Stockton fractures leg in U.S. rout of Canada

June 30, 1992|By Ken Rosenthal | Ken Rosenthal,Evening Sun Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. -- John Stockton is lost for the Tournament of the Americas and possibly the Olympics after suffering a fractured right leg last night in the U.S. team's 105-61 victory over Canada.

The injury occurred in the first half when Stockton was kneed accidentally by Michael Jordan. It originally was believed to be nothing more than a bruise, but X-rays revealed an undisplaced fracture of his right fibula.

"We're hoping he will be able to play in Barcelona," U.S. team physician David Fischer said. "John's right leg will not be placed in a cast, and it is expected that he will be able to participate in a conditioning program."

In Stockton's absence, U.S. coach Chuck Daly said he will alternate Jordan and Scottie Pippen with Magic Johnson at point guard, and increase the playing time of Clyde Drexler and Chris Mullin.

Rules prohibit the U.S. team from replacing Stockton in this tournament, but Daly has until July 15 to set his 12-man Olympic roster. If Stockton is unavailable, the team probably would name another point guard from a group consisting of Tim Hardaway, Mark Price and Isiah Thomas.

The issue is not of great concern, for Johnson is playing like the Magic of old, despite being HIV-positive. He had four points and nine assists in a 136-57 victory over Cuba on Sunday, 13 points and eight assists last night.

For his part, Jordan said he is willing to forsake his customary role at shooting guard to share the burden at the point. "I don't mind," he said. "I'm willing to switch to help the team."

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