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Elton Brand has been playing with hand fracture

The New York Times’ Jonathan Abrams has the story:

Elton Brand, who is experiencing a resurgent season with the surprising Philadelphia 76ers, has played nearly a month with a fracture in his left hand.

The fracture was originally disclosed as an injury that would not prohibit Brand from playing, apparently out of concern that some opposing players might target the hand if they knew it was fractured. Brand has continued to play through the injury with the 76ers still vying for playoff positioning.

“It still bothers him,” Rod Thorn, Philadelphia’s president, said in a telephone call Monday night. “He’s had trouble for the last month trying to catch balls. There’s no complaints about it from him. He keeps playing. His confidence, his leadership, have been invaluable to our team.”

According to Abrams, the injury occurred during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 9th. Brand did not score 20 points in a game for the rest of March, and did not shoot 50% or better from the field from March 9th to March 27th. Brand averaged 12.6 points on 45% shooting in the month of March, with both marks being well below his season averages.

Brand has looked better recently, which is great news for the 76ers -- with Lou Williams out until at least the start of the playoffs, the 76ers will need both Brand and Williams to be at close to 100% to have a chance of playing spoiler to the Heat or Celtics.