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All-Star Allen sidelined with continued ankle pain

SEATTLE -- Ray Allen's season may be headed for an early
conclusion.

Seattle's All-Star guard sat out Wednesday night with continued
pain and discomfort from bone spurs in his left ankle, and
indicated before the game against Washington that season-ending
surgery is becoming more of an option.

The SuperSonics said Allen is day-to-day, and
Damien Wilkins
started in Allen's place.

Allen has been bothered by the ankle since early February, but
missed just one game in the last two months -- when he sat out
against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1 and finally revealed
the injury.

Surgery to remove the spurs is the likely solution to Allen's
pain, and that may happen before the season ends.

"I think that's the next issue, just talking about that,
putting myself in that situation where I have surgery early.
Possibly," Allen said before Wednesday's game.

Allen is seeking a second opinion from a specialist at Duke
University, referred to him by his agent. Allen had X-rays
Wednesday afternoon sent to North Carolina, and was hopeful of
getting feedback sometime on Thursday.

Those X-rays came a day after Allen had an MRI exam on his right
knee, after feeling discomfort for the last two weeks that he
believes was overcompensation for the pain in his ankle.

Allen was told that structurally, he can't do any more damage to
his ankle, and it's a matter of dealing with the pain. But the
discomfort in his knee was the catalyst for further opinion.

"The doctors here feel they've done everything to make me
satisfied with what is going on," Allen said. "But it's just a
second opinion and we'll address it from there."

Allen is averaging a career-high 26.4 points in 55 games. But
while Allen has played with pain, the Sonics have struggled. A
recent five-game losing streak severely damaged any chance Seattle
had of making a late rally for the eighth playoff spot in the
Western Conference.

The Sonics entered Wednesday night 26-40 and 4½ games back of
Golden State for eighth place.

"It comes and goes when I'm not playing basketball, but when
I'm playing, the pain is pretty prominent," Allen said. "It's a
matter of running up and down the floor and trying to ignore it."

Allen missed nine games in December with a bone contusion in his
right foot. Seattle was without either Allen or forward
Rashard Lewis in the lineup between early December and the middle of
February.

"I'm really tired of injuries, to be honest with you," Seattle
coach Bob Hill said. "It's been all year long."