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Vikings’ Smith Has Hernia

October 18, 1999

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) _ Minnesota Vikings running back Robert Smith could miss between three and six weeks with a hernia.

Smith practiced lightly last week, but said he realized early in Sunday’s 25-23 loss to the Lions that his hernia had not improved. He played only in the first quarter against the Lions, gaining 14 yards on four carries. Leroy Hoard gained 45 yards on 13 carries in Smith’s place.

Dr. David Fischer, the team’s medical director, said a decision on when Smith will undergo surgery was expected to be made today.

``I basically took the week off, and it was worse than it was last week. And I think if we continue like this, it may even get worse before it gets better,″ Smith said. ``So it might just be best to get it done now and hope things work out.″

Smith said last week he had been hampered by the hernia since the Sept. 26 game at Green Bay and that the injury wasn’t diagnosed until early last week, when he saw a specialist.

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