Hornets' Chandler Has Surgery; Paul Next

Friday, April 20th 2007, 5:28 pm
By: News On 6

BETHANY, Okla. (AP) -- New Orleans Hornets center Tyson Chandler had surgery on his left big toe Friday, and coach Byron Scott said point guard Chris Paul will have a procedure done on his left foot next week.

Chandler missed the final seven games of the regular season. He'd been fighting through the injury, similar to turf toe, for weeks.

"There was a lot more in there that they had to clean up than they thought," Scott said.

The Hornets, who missed the playoffs for the third straight season, won their final game Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"He's definitely got to stay off of it. He's probably still going to be in a boot," Scott said. "They said three to four weeks before he can resume anything, but at that time, he's not going to be running anyway."

Paul will have a screw inserted in his left foot Monday to help a stress reaction heal, Scott said. He expects the injury to take about three to four weeks to heal after the surgery.

Paul is a member of the U.S. national team, which is to play in the FIBA Americas tournament in August. Scott said general manager Jeff Bower will talk to Paul and Paul's agent about whether he'll participate "when that time comes."

After following his Rookie of the Year season by practicing and playing for the U.S. national team last summer, Paul missed a month with a sprained ankle and fought through the stress reaction for the last month of the season.

"You have to wonder about it, but the one thing I would never tell a young man like Chris who loves that USA across his chest is not to play," Scott said. "I would never say that to him."

After the injury was diagnosed last month, Paul had been reluctant to commit to the surgery.

"It's something that I'm definitely not looking forward to, but it's something that I'm sure needs to take place," Paul said this week. "I'll definitely be ready for training camp with our team next season, but I'm not sure about the USA team. Hopefully if all goes well, I will be."

Scott and Bower said they do not expect guard Peja Stojakovic, who had surgery to remove a disc fragment from his lower back in December, to compete with the Serbia and Montenegro team this summer.

"I don't think he wants to play on the national team this year. I think he wants to just really concentrate on getting back healthy and getting back to playing," Scott said.

"Just talking to him yesterday, he really seemed like he was going to dedicate this whole summer to getting his back and his whole body as strong as he could possibly get it and come in ready next year."