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Hill Sits Out With Bruised Right Shin

December 11, 2004

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Grant Hill missed a game for the first time in this season Friday night, a precautionary move because of a badly bruised right shin.

``I’ll be back,″ Hill said before the Magic played the Golden State Warriors. ``I won’t be out long.″

The Magic forward sustained a contusion on his shin when he was kicked during Monday’s 115-102 loss at Denver, the first stop of Orlando’s six-game road trip. The shin improved Tuesday and Hill played Wednesday and scored 18 points in a 106-100 win at Utah. But the Magic don’t want him to favor his right side and put more pressure on his surgically repaired left ankle.

``On Wednesday, at the end I was favoring it,″ Hill said. ``Considering what I’ve been through, let’s get it right and shoot for Sunday.″

He also used a heat pack on the area Wednesday and burned his skin in several places.

The 32-year-old Hill, in his 10th NBA season, was sidelined all last season recovering from four surgeries on his left ankle, which were followed by a staph infection that hospitalized him for a week and forced him onto intravenous antibiotics for six months.

``The most important thing is the ankle feels great,″ Hill said. ``It doesn’t look great, but it feels great. I’ve been able to play four games in five nights and back-to-backs. That feels good.″

Hill is averaging 20 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists through the first 18 games for the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division leaders. Stacey Augmon started in his place Friday.

Hill plans to play Sunday against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

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