PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia 76ers forward Shavlik Randolph was set to undergo surgery Thursday night after he broke his left ankle earlier at practice and was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Randolph was playing defense when he collided with Andre Iguodala.

“I saw players just running around and screaming,” Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. “It was something bad. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

Randolph averaged 4.5 points and 4.2 rebounds and started the last six games in Chris Webber’s absence. He was undrafted following a three-year career at Duke.

“It was a freak accident,” said Iguodala, who watched helplessly as Randolph lost his balance and landed awkwardly.

“It was like a Joe Theismann thing,” he said, referring to the career-ending hit on the Washington Redskins quarterback in 1985.

A team spokesman said Randolph suffered a broken and dislocated ankle.

“It is unfortunate Shav got hurt today,” said team President Billy King. “He will be missed as he is an integral part of this team, but I am confident that the rest of the guys will step up in his absence.”

About 30 minutes after the ambulance arrived, Randolph was wheeled out on a stretcher and taken to Roxborough Memorial Hospital accompanied by the team doctor and a trainer.

On his way out, Randolph gave a “thumbs up” sign. Iguodala said Randolph he even joked with his teammates while waiting for help to arrive.

“He took it like it was nothing,” Iguodala said. “I thought he handled it well. Hopefully, it looked worse than it really was.”

AP-ES-11-30-06 2215EST


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