Suns lose forward

The Associated Press

PHOENIX The Phoenix Suns' bad luck continued Tuesday when they lost Danny Manning because of a knee injury.

Manning fell during the morning practice and had to be carried from the floor. Team doctor Richard Emerson said later the 6-foot-10 forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee. It can take up to 12 months to recover from reconstructive surgery to repair an ACL.

Manning had played in all 46 games this season, his first with the Suns after leaving the Atlanta Hawks. A former No. 1 draft pick (1988) and two-time All-Star, Manning passed up his opportunity to command an estimated $5 million per year as a free agent and signed a one-year contract with the Suns for $1 million during the offseason.

Manning's rookie season with the Los Angeles Clippers was cut short at 26 games when he injured the ACL of his right knee on Jan. 4, 1989.

The next season, he was back for 71 games and averaged 16.3 points. His best season was 1992-93, when he averaged 22.8 points and 6.6 rebounds and played in his first All-Star game.

He started 19 games this season, including two at center and the last four in a row, averaging 23 points and 8.8 rebounds in those contests. Earlier, coach Paul Westphal liked Manning's impact coming off the bench.

His shooting improved throughout the season, markedly in the last 16 games, when he made 57.3 percent. For the season, Manning ranked 10th in the NBA at 54.7 percent.

''It certainly gives us a big hole to fill,'' coach Paul Westphal said. ''You really can't replace a guy like that, but we'll do the best we can.''

Westphal said he hadn't decided on an alternate lineup. Danny Schayes, Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle and Elliot Perry started the last two games with Manning, but Wayman Tisdale was in the post the first two.

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