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Austin Rivers sprains ankle in Hornets preseason finale

Monty Williams, Austin Rivers

New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams talks with guard Austin Rivers (25) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in New Orleans, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. The Hornets won 97-82. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)


The last thing teams want to see happen in the final game of the preseason is for one of their players to go down with an injury. Friday night in Miami, the Hornets unfortunately witnessed exactly that.

Rookie guard Austin Rivers got the start at the two-guard spot against the Heat, but was forced to leave late in the third quarter after suffering an injury to his right ankle. Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune has the details:

Rivers appeared to get tangled within himself after slipping as Miami guard Norris Cole, who was guarding Rivers, ran past him. Rivers then fell backward, twisting the ankle again.

Rivers injured the same ankle Monday night against the Mavericks, so his start with such a relatively short turnaround -- and with the regular season tipping off next week -- was a bit of a surprise.

The Hornets are pretty thin at the two beyond Rivers and Eric Gordon, so things could get dicey there pretty fast if Gordon isn’t yet ready to go and this injury is anything serious.

UPDATE: Rivers tweeted after the game that it wasn’t as bad as it looked.

Thanks for all the support! Ankle is fine, freaky fall, but I will be alright and ready for the game Wednesday!

— Austin Rivers (@AustinRivers25) October 27, 2012