swift-- major knee damage-- out for year
what a blow--- swift is out for the season
Center suffers major knee damage: sources
By GARY WASHBURN
SPOKANE -- The Sonics will enter their 40th season without one of their key younger players, as the P-I learned Thursday night that center Robert Swift will miss the season with a right knee injury.
According to a Sonics player and another member of the organization, Swift's MRI revealed major damage that will cost him the year. Team physician Richard Zorn will examine the MRI results today and the team is expected to make an announcement this afternoon.
The Sonics player said the team was informed of the news before Thursday's 111-107 overtime preseason win over Golden State at Spokane Arena.
Sonics coach Bob Hill refused to address the extent of Swift's injury before the game, telling reporters the team would handle the results upon its return to Seattle. Swift, 20, was injured in the first two minutes of the team's 103-88 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
He jumped toward the sideline trying to save the ball and landed awkwardly on his right leg. He said after the game that the knee didn't hurt but was just weak. Swift was expected to play a major role in the middle for the Sonics and had just won the starting job from Johan Petro.
The team will have to depend on Petro, rookie Mouhamed Sene and power forward Nick Collison, who can play some center.
"We have Petro and it's time for Mouhamed to step up and be a man," the Sonics player said. "We have to depend on those guys."
Swift averaged 6.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in 47 games last season, most of which were played after Hill took over as coach Jan. 3.
"I feel really bad for Robert because he worked so hard," Hill said after Wednesday's game. "He came in to Furtado (Center) every day and lifted and it made a difference. I was really excited for him."
Swift, the team's first-round pick in 2004, has been beset with minor injuries over the past two years but has made tremendous physical strides over the past several months. He bulked up with heavy weightlifting and appeared more confident and comfortable on the court.
i am bummed
swift was going to get major minutes this year and it could have made the next step in his development.
good thing we drafted sene. he will have to mature faster than previously thought now with this swift injury
hill will look at some different frontlines i am sure; the collison/wilcox combo will be very effective against the running teams because of their mobility