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Kings activate Jackson

Posted: Friday February 14, 2003 9:55 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Bobby Jackson pulled back the protective nylon wrap to reveal a 3-inch purple scar over a raised knot of tissue stretching across the back of his left hand.

Jackson might not be cosmetically healthy, but he's ready to return from a seven-week stint on the injured list. He was activated by the Sacramento Kings on Friday after missing 21 games with a broken left hand.

"It's not hurting me on most of the things I've got to do, and that's all that matters," Jackson said before Friday night's game against Seattle.

Jackson turned his hand over to show where the wrap -- which has the Kings' logo on the back -- stretches around his middle and ring fingers.

"These get in the way when I dribble," Jackson said. "It's really not a problem for shooting."

That's bad news for the rest of the NBA. Jackson was the high-scoring Kings' second-leading scorer until his injury, averaging 19.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 30 games this season.

Playing mostly as a starter while point guard Mike Bibby was injured, Jackson was receiving serious consideration for his first All-Star berth. But when Shaquille O'Neal made a misguided swipe at the ball during the Kings' victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 25, a bone in Jackson's hand was broken.

Jackson improved his conditioning and lifted weights during his time off, also playing full-court one-on-one with assistant coaches Elston Turner and Terry Porter. Though he couldn't participate in games or practices, the notorious gym rat also kept close to his usual schedule of marathon shooting drills before games and after practices.

The rest of the injured Kings are making steady progress, though Sacramento has missed more man-games due to injury than any NBA team except Toronto.

Leading scorer Chris Webber has been out since Jan. 28 with a sprained ankle -- his third major ankle injury in the last three years -- but he is participating in shooting drills and running. He might be ready to return some time during Sacramento's seven-game homestand.

To make room for Jackson on the active roster, the Kings put Scot Pollard on the injured list with a broken right hand. Pollard was sidelined nearly three months this season with a back injury, and he broke his hand in his first game back last month.

Backup forward Lawrence Funderburke also is out with a foot injury.

"We'd love to get some continuity going, but there are some seasons in this league when that just isn't going to happen," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "We're just making the most of the guys we have healthy.

"That's the benefit of having the kind of roster we have. Even with all these guys hurt, we have no excuses when we lose. We've got enough good players to compete every night."

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