Knee injury ends season for Muresan Starting center lost for Bullets' playoff push

April 12, 1996|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

BOWIE -- On the strength of their five-game winning streak, the Washington Bullets will enter their most meaningful final week of the season in years. But they'll have to do so without starting center Gheorghe Muresan.

Muresan will be out the rest of the season after suffering torn ligaments in his right knee during the first quarter of Wednesday night's 122-108 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Muresan underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam yesterday that revealed a torn medial collateral ligament and partially torn medial meniscus cartilage in the knee. No surgery is required, but Muresan is out for six weeks -- meaning no postseason play should the Bullets make the playoffs.

It is the end of a standout season for Muresan, who averaged 14.5 points and is first in the league in field-goal percentage (.584), eighth in blocks (2.26) and 15th in rebounding (9.6).

With a league-maximum three players already on the injured list and not many players available, Lynam doesn't anticipate the Bullets making any roster additions.

That means starting Jim McIlvaine and spelling him with forwards Juwan Howard, Bob McCann and Bob Thornton. McIlvaine, who will make his first start of the season tonight, is averaging 2.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 13.9 minutes.

Pub Date: 4/12/96

Bullets tonight

Opponent: Minnesota Timberwolves

Time: 7: 30

TV/Radio: HTS/WWLG (1360 AM), WTEM (570 AM)

Outlook: The Bullets won the only other meeting this season, at Minnesota on Feb. 18. The Bullets have won five straight, the NBA's longest current streak, and need a win to keep pace with Charlotte and Miami for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

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