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Blazers Could Play Sabonis on Road

April 8, 2000

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Injured center Arvydas Sabonis might return to the Portland Trail Blazers during their upcoming road trip, coach Mike Dunleavy said Friday.

Sabonis sprained his right foot when he fell while leaping for a pass during a home loss to the Detroit Pistons on March 22. He was placed on the injured list two days later.

The Blazers initially thought they would rest the 35-year-old Lithuanian until the playoffs. But after losing to Houston and Vancouver _ the bottom two teams in the Midwest Division _ on consecutive nights, Dunleavy said he’s taking Sabonis on a road trip to Utah, Dallas and San Antonio which begins Monday.

``I think he’s made good progress, and I think he’ll be back by next week,″ Dunleavy said after Friday’s practice, in which Sabonis ran and did some cutting for the first time since the injury.

The Blazers have lost 10 of their last 19 games. They are 5-6 with him in the starting lineup during that stretch and 4-4 without him, but the players say his absence has seriously hindered their offensive options.

``We miss `Sabas’ tremendously,″ Scottie Pippen said.