Originally created 02/22/99

Injured knee knocks Hawks' leading scorer out week to 10 days



ATLANTA -- Atlanta Hawks leading scorer Steve Smith will be out of action for seven to 10 days after straining his right knee Saturday night in a 76-69 victory at Philadelphia.

Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche said X-rays on Smith's knee Sunday confirmed the original diagnosis of a strain. He said the guard will have an MRI Monday to confirm the diagnosis.

A decision would then be made on whether to place Smith on the injured list, which means he would have to miss a minimum of five games.

Triche said if Smith is placed on the injured list, the Hawks might resign Jeff Sheppard or Shammond Williams, rookie guards who were recently released.

Smith, averaging 21.4 points a game, tangled his feet with Philadelphia's Eric Snow as the two chased a long pass while running toward the Hawks' basket with eight minutes left in the third quarter Saturday.

Smith has led Atlanta in scoring in each of the Hawks' nine games this season.