Friday, January 4, 2008

Damp out, Gana to start

Erick Dampier’s sore left knee (officially called an effusion) will sideline the center tonight. Gana Diop will start in his place.

Dampier bumped knees with another player, he wasn’t sure which one, Wednesday against Golden State. Avery Johnson said previously that he thought Dampier was fine, even teasing him at practice yesterday.

“I thought he was,” Johnson quipped. “That shows you I’m not a trainer.”

Dampier was coming off his first back-to-back double-figure scoring games this season. He’s officially listed as day-to-day. X-rays were taken, which came back negative. He isn’t experiencing any pain, just the swelling.

“It should be OK,” said Dampier, who expects to play Sunday at Minnesota. “Nothing serious.”

Diop is starting for the first time since Nov. 26. He’s been doing extra work before games lately – shooting drills with Popeye Jones and strength/cardio drills with Robert Hackett.

“I needed to stay in shape for situations like this,” Diop said.

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