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Mavs’ Thomas Breaks Ankle Again

November 15, 1997

DALLAS (AP) _ Dallas Mavericks forward Kurt Thomas, who had bone graft surgery to repair his broken right ankle on May 29, has broken the ankle again.

The latest break _ his fourth in a year _ apparently did not occur suddenly. Thomas missed practice Friday to visit doctors about his sore ankle.

He had played 14 uneventful minutes in Thursday night’s loss to Philadelphia and said the ankle was sore afterward. When he woke up Friday, it still hurt.

A team doctor took X-rays that revealed the break.

``I’m devastated,″ Thomas said. ``We knew the ankle was going to get sore. We knew there were going to be some good days and some bad days. I just thought this was going to be one of the bad days.″

The Mavericks said more tests were scheduled, and a prognosis should be available next week.

General manager Don Nelson, who has said Thomas is potentially Dallas’ best player, said the break is ``quite a setback for the young man.″

``At times like this, I think a lot more about the kid than I do the team,″ Nelson said.

Thomas has undergone three surgeries since last November, including the bone graft the Mavericks thought had finally stabilized the ankle.

``We thought the bone graft would be the answer. The main thing is we want to work with this guy,″ Nelson said. ``We think a lot of him, and we want to try to get him healthy so he can try to be the player we all know he is.″

Thomas, 25, has played in five games this season, averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.6 minutes.

He missed the preseason while recovering from his surgery.

Thomas broke his ankle Jan. 24, while he was still playing for the Miami Heat. The next month, he was traded to Dallas with Sasha Danilovic and Martin Muursepp in the deal that sent Jamal Mashburn to Miami.

The Heat drafted Thomas with the 10th overall pick of the 1995 draft. Thomas played college basketball at Texas Christian and went to high school at Dallas Hillcrest.

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