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Injury May Pain Miami Most Of All

It’s tough to remember when two marquee players from top programs went down with injuries so close to each other.

First, Kansas lost All-America center Raef LaFrentz for 6-8 weeks with a broken finger, then Duke freshman sensation Elton Brand fractured his foot and underwent surgery that will shelve him for the season.

Both players were injured during practice, and both teams are talented enough to withstand the loss of players of that caliber.

Some teams, however, can have a season filled with promise take a severe turn with one injury.

Miami, Ohio, started the season 6-4, and was getting ready for MidAmerican Conference play when Walt Szczerbiak broke his right wrist in the league opener. The junior forward was second in the nation in scoring at 24.5 points per game, and was leading the RedHawks in rebounding at 6.9.

“The worst thing that could happen happened,” Miami coach Charlie Coles said. “I don’t have the slightest idea of how we’re going to replace him. I refuse to think about it. There’s really not much we can do.”

Szczerbiak’s father, Walt, played for GWU, and has been a key figure in European basketball.