SEATTLE (AP) _ Seattle SuperSonics guard Gary Payton left Thursday night's game against Chicago early in the first quarter because of a strained abdominal muscle.

Payton appeared to slip on a defensive play near the Chicago basket. He sat out the rest of first quarter but returned for the start of the second.

Payton was slowed in December and early January by a strained groin, but he did not miss any games because of injury.