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Wolves’ Gugliotta Out for Season

February 21, 1998

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Minnesota Timberwolves forward Tom Gugliotta will miss the rest of the season because he needs surgery on his injured right ankle.

Gugliotta, the team’s leading scorer with 20.1 points per game, has been out since Jan. 30, when his ankle locked up in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. He was later diagnosed with bone spurs and bone chips in the ankle.

``I would say there’s a pretty good chance he’s done for the year,″ Timberwolves vice president Kevin McHale said Friday night. ``It hurts. Anytime you lose a guy like that, it hurts your lineup.″

Gugliotta, whose ankle did not respond to treatment, has seen foot and ankle specialists in Birmingham, Ala., Boston and New York. All three recommended surgery, said Gugliotta’s wife, Nikki.

At the urging of McHale, Gugliotta also saw a foot therapist in Boston, but the ankle still failed to respond.

``I am extremely disappointed that I will be unable to play the rest of the season,″ Gugliotta said. ″ But after meeting with a number of specialists, I understand that I will not be able to perform with the ankle as it is.″

Gugliotta, a Western Conference All-Star last season, also was averaging 8.7 rebounds per game, second on the team to Kevin Garnett. A date for the surgery was not announced.

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