HOUSTON (AP) _ Houston Rockets star Steve Francis, the team's leading scorer, will be out 4-6 weeks because of an injury to his left foot.

Francis has a ruptured plantar fascia tissue in the arch of his left foot. Tests performed Monday revealed tears in the tissue.

``That's tough,'' coach Rudy Tomjanovich told the Houston Chronicle before the Rockets' shootaround prior to Tuesday night's game against the Sacramento Kings.

``He means so much to this team,'' the coach said, pointing out that similar injuries have crippled other players across the league, including the Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson.

Francis left late in the third quarter of Sunday's game with the Clippers after reaggravating his injured foot.

Francis leads the Rockets in scoring with 21.0 points per game and is the top rebounder among NBA guards with 101.

With Francis going on the injured list, the Rockets replaced him by activating guard Tierre Brown, who had been on the injured list since Nov. 17 while recovering from plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Brown, a rookie from McNeese State, played in one NBA game, Nov. 9, scoring two points with three assists.

Tomjanovich said injuries, which have plagued his team this season, are not a reason to ``fold up the tent.''

``We've got to go out here and compete,'' he said. ``It's going to give other guys an opportunity, win or lose. Just like any stumbling block, we'll use it like a stepping stone.''

``If we can get stronger through this adversity, when we get through it, we're on our way.''