The Indiana Pacers, fighting for position in the Eastern Conference playoff race, could be without center Al Jefferson for the near future after he sprained his left ankle during Sunday night’s 107-94 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Jefferson was in the midst of a strong performance, with 14 points and seven rebounds against the Sixers, when he rolled his ankle coming down on another player’s foot while grabbing a fourth-quarter rebound.
Jefferson initially appeared to be seriously hurt, writhing in pain on the floor before being taken from the court in a wheelchair. But Jefferson said after the game that X-rays were negative and it was just a sprain.
“Anybody who’s rolled their ankle like that knows the pain, the throbbing pain,” Jefferson told Fox Sports Indiana after the game. “It’s just an ankle sprain, and I just have to get through it.
“This is about my 600th ankle sprain. I’ve got to get through it and get back on the court as quick as I can.”
Indiana coach Nate McMillan confirmed the sprain, but he said there was a great deal of swelling and that he expected Jefferson to miss at least a few days.
The Pacers, who pulled even with the Milwaukee Bucks for the sixth spot in the East playoff race, also lost guard Rodney Stuckey to a sore left knee.
McMillan said Stuckey was walking a little better by the end of the game and would be further evaluated.