His year started with a protracted and public holdout. It now, apparently, is over, just as it was starting to take shape.

Danny Manning of the Los Angeles Clippers, the top pick in last year's draft and purported savior of the Clippers, will miss the rest of this season because of a knee injury, his agent said."Danny Manning will not be back this year," agent Ron Grinker said. "I can guarantee you that. You won't see him this year. You may not see him for some time. There's definitely something in there."

Manning was rounding into shape and averaging 16.7 points and 6.6 assists. The team announced Friday that Manning would be out indefinitely and had been placed on the injured list.

"Nothing will probably be new until Monday or Tuesday," said Scott Lemere, the Clippers' assistant director of public relations.

"To get this kind of news ... " Clippers General Manager Elgin Baylor said. "I don't even want to think about it until all the tests are done."

"I've been in better spirits, but I'm not going to jump to any conclusions," Manning said in a prepared statement after being examined Thursday. "I'll just try to prepare myself for whatever happens."

Manning damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee 10 minutes into the Clippers' game Wednesday in Milwaukee. The anterior cruciate is the same ligament that Bernard King damaged. He was out the better part of two years.

Manning returned to L.A. after the game, and initial tests showed damage to the ligament, the full extent of which is still unknown Friday. Grinker said he was told by Clippers' team physician Tony Daly that the injury was severe enough to require surgery. That could take up to a full year of rehabilitation.

Grinker said Manning's lucrative, five-year deal (well in excess of $10 million) is guaranteed.