Iverson: Battle Of Wounded Knee And Shin

When Allen Iverson rejoined the 76ers earlier this month, he initially didn't anticipate playing much, if at all, before last Friday night's loss to Houston. But they needed him, and he needed them just as much. He has been out there and helpful for three games, but he's not the A.I. he is accustomed to being.

'I'm not (close) right now,'' he said after today's practice at Philadelphia College Of Osteopathic Medicine. "I'm really concerned about my knee and my shin.''

He had his left knee drained of 55 cc's of fluid in the morning.

"That's a lot; that's more than I ever had (drained) before,'' he said. "I think it all just stems from me starting so fast and not haveing a chance to practice or do any running or stuff, not playing for over a month and then just jumping right in the fire . . . Hopefully, that's what it's from''

In the meantime, he said he hadn't even thought about his right shin, where he has a stress reaction.

''I didn't have any problem with the right leg the last game anyway,'' he saide. "Hopefully, I won't have to deal with that.''

But he's not anywhere close to where he wants to be.

"I can't move around like I'm accustomed to moving,'' he said. ''It makes it that much harder because I'm relying on my jumper more than I ever did in my career. I'm used to just trying to get in to the paint; being that my legs aren't there yet, it's limited me from being as aggressive as I can be.

''They get weak the more I go. The first half, I'll be all right, then I'll sit down, stiffen up and then I'm not able to move as I'm accustomed to moving.''

At the same time, the Sixers' 12-game losing streak just accentuates everything else.

''I'm trying to show them the way,'' Iverson saide. ""They know I'm hurt. They see how I'm limping. It's something they're going to have to go through in their careers. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, do whatever you can do for your team.''

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