Mitch Richmond and the Golden State Warriors received bad news Friday. The high-scoring off-guard sustained a fracture of his left thumb knuckle in Thursday's win over Chicago and was placed on the injured list.
Under NBA rules, Richmond must miss five games, but based on what team medical consultant Dr. Robert Albo said Friday after the fracture was discovered, Richmond might be out for seven games.Albo said Richmond would be out 10 to 14 days and added, "It will take five weeks to heal, but he probably can play before then with a soft splint. I don't think that will be a problem."
The Warriors play seven games over a 14-day span from Friday.
Richmond, who missed five games during his first two seasons, was examined by Dr. William Billings, an Oakland hand specialist. After X-rays showed the fracture, the thumb was placed in a small cast.
Richmond sustained the injury with a little more than 31/2 minutes to go in the first quarter when the Bulls' Scottie Pippen cracked him on the thumb.
"He tried to slap the ball out of my hand," Richmond said. "I don't know what he hit it with."
There was no foul called. Although bothered by the injury, Richmond played 33 minutes and in all four quarters, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Richmond entered the game as the Warriors' second-leading scorer and ninth in the NBA with a 26.1-point average. He now is averaging 24.9.
The play of Richmond, Chris Mullin and point guard Tim Hardaway has helped the Warriors to a 6-2 record, their best start in 13 seasons.
Coach Don Nelson, who was unavailable for comment, will have to fill the roster vacancy and find another starter. Bart Kofoed, a guard waived eight days ago by the Warriors, could be brought back.