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Spencer Hawes in danger of missing Sixers’ opener with back problem

Spencer Hawes is going to be pivotal for the Sixers this season — he’s been brought in from Sacramento and asked to provide all the defense and rebounding that Samuel Dalembert did, plus some of the offense he did not.

Hawes may not be doing that for the season opener.

Back issues have kept Hawes out of the Sixers last three preseason games and his return is not expected for a couple week — right at the start f the season. It is possible Hawes will miss the opener. He talked with the Philadelphia Daily News about that.

“I’ve had the normal stiff-back stuff before, but I’ve never had something as localized as this,” Hawes said. “As frustrating as it is, especially since I felt like I came into training camp in great shape and was doing well, you just have to look at the big picture at the end of the day. I thought it was just soreness from training camp, but it just never really got better. Now, compared to, like, 3 or 4 days ago, I’m feeling a lot better. Before, just walking around was kind of a struggle. But now with all the stretching, I’m making progress. I would say about a week more now.”

Team doctors are saying two weeks, Hawes sis saying one — teams tend to be cautious, players overly optimistic. Hawes could be right by the opener, but as these are the kind of injuries that can linger, better to wait and get right than come back too early.

Because when he does come back they need him at 100 percent. They are asking a lot of him.