Thomas dealing with infection in elbow

NEW YORK -- New York Knicks center Kurt Thomas did not play
Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs due to an infected left
elbow, and guard Penny Hardaway was placed on the injured list with
a sore right hamstring.

Malik Rose replaced Thomas in the starting lineup, getting his
first start for the Knicks against the team that traded him to New
York last month in a deal that sent Nazr Mohammed to San Antonio.

Thomas, averaging 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds, missed a game
for the first time this season and only the sixth time over the
past seven seasons. Thomas has bursitis in his left elbow, and an
infection has developed.

"When Kurt can't play, it's got to be bad," Knicks coach Herb
Williams said.

Hardaway, a backup shooting guard averaging 7.3 points and 2.0
assists, has missed 28 games this season. Hardaway plans to see an
acupuncturist, but will not travel to Memphis for treatment as he
did when he was injured earlier this season.

"My right ankle might be causing all this because it has no
movement in it," Hardaway said. "This thing just keeps nagging
and won't go away."

With Hardaway on the injured list, the Knicks activated center
Jackie Butler, a 20-year-old signed out of the CBA late last month.
Williams said Butler, who has never appeared in an NBA game, would
play behind seldom used Bruno Sundov in the rotation.

Asked if he had spoken to Allan Houston about possibly replacing
Hardaway on the active roster, Williams laughed. "Allan Houston?
No, I haven't. I'm not sure where he is in his progress."

Houston, on the injured list since Jan. 28 with chronic knee
soreness, has played in only 20 games all season.