SPOKANE, Wash. -- Robert Swift's 2006-07 season ended before it began.
The SuperSonics center has a torn ACL in his right knee that will require surgery and cost him the entire season, the team said Friday. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer first reported Friday that Swift would miss the season.
Swift, 20, hurt his right knee in the opening minutes of the Sonics' preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, when he landed awkwardly on his right leg while trying to keep the ball in bounds.
"We're very disappointed for [Swift], especially given all the hard work he put in this offseason," general manager Rick Sund said in a prepared statement issued by the team. "Robert had recently been named the starting center for opening night, which is a testament to the strides he had made since last season."
Swift, taken by the Sonics in the first round of the 2004 draft and 12th overall, has averages 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in 63 regular season games. He had won the Sonics' starting center job, beating out Johan Petro and rookie Mouhamed Sene.
"We may need to bring somebody in," guard Ray Allen told The Seattle Times before the severity of Swift's injury was made public. "I really don't know, but from what I saw it doesn't look good. In any case, he won't be the same, not like he was, and that's too bad."