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Crawford was to be top backup for Harrington

ATLANTA -- Chris Crawford of the Atlanta Hawks will miss the
entire season because of a torn ligament in his right knee.

He was injured Thursday during an exhibition game in
Birmingham, Ala., when he was fouled by Minnesota's Kevin Garnett
as Crawford tried to convert a steal into a transition basket.

An MRI revealed he tore the anterior cruciate
ligament, sprained the medial collateral ligament, and tore
cartilage, Hawks trainer Wally Blase said Saturday.

Crawford has a history of knee injuries and these could be
career-threatening. He plans to consult with the medical staff
before deciding on surgery.

"This is certainly a tough thing for Chris personally and for
our team," Hawks general manager Billy Knight said. "We feel bad
for him because he's worked diligently to recover from past
injuries, and would have been a major part of our rotation. We wish
him all the best in his recovery."

The 6-foot-9 Crawford was not a projected starter but was
expected to serve as a top backup to Al Harrington and Antoine
Walker. Crawford averaged 10.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 56 games
last season. In 25 starts, he averaged 19.0 points and 5.1
rebounds.

"It's such a difficult blow for Chris," Hawks coach Mike
Woodson said. "He had worked so hard to get into the position to
play positive minutes, and he had been playing very well. He had a
great camp. All we can do is give him support and hope for a
successful recovery."

Crawford, in his eighth season, has the longest active tenure
with Atlanta, but he has missed 190 games due to injuries.

On Nov. 10, 2001, Crawford tore the anterior cruciate ligament
in his left knee. He needed more surgery in July 2002 and missed
most of the 2002-03 season.