Emeka Okafor sidelined up to 3 weeks

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor will be sidelined from one to three weeks because of his strained left oblique muscle, the team said.

The Hornets announced Tuesday that an MRI revealed a grade 2 strain resulting from an injury that occurred late in the first half of New Orleans' loss at Phoenix on Sunday night.

Okafor is the Hornets' leading rebounder with 10.1 per game and has averaged 11.1 points and 1.8 blocks this season. His play has helped New Orleans climb into playoff contention in the Western Conference.

The Hornets' game against Washington on Tuesday night will mark the first time in 306 games that Okafor won't be able to suit up.