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 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -An hour before the Charlotte Bobcats season opener Friday night, Adam Morrison was at his locker dressed in a suit, holding a plastic container with his dinner.
Most of his teammates were on the court warming up. Morrison was preparing for a season without basketball after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during an exhibition game last month.
``It's unfortunate. I'm disappointed,'' Morrison said in his first public comments since he was injured. ``I worked real hard this summer. I had a decent preseason. The team was feeling good. I was feeling good. It's just part of the business. It happens.''
Morrison, who will undergo surgery Nov. 10, has never been in this situation before. He never missed a game in high school or in his record-breaking college career at Gonzaga.
Despite struggling at times last season as a rookie with the Bobcats, Morrison played in 78 of 82 games.
``I've never gone a season without playing. I've missed, what five games in my life?'' Morrison said. ``It's going to be tough.''
But Morrison was still surprisingly upbeat and pleased with how the Bobcats have supported him since he felt his knee ``pop'' while playing defense in Los Angeles on Oct. 20.
Morrison, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 draft, averaged 11.8 points as a rookie. But he struggled defensively, an area new coach Sam Vincent has stressed. He was scheduled to be a reserve this season after the Bobcats acquired Jason Richardson in a draft-night trade.
But Vincent insists Morrison is still in the team's long-term plans.
``Adam is going to be important to this team and his rehabilitation is going to be important to this team,'' Vincent said. ``I'm just happy to hear that he's got a very positive outlook on his situation right now. That's very encouraging.''
Morrison spent the offseason working on his strength. He had been playing well in the preseason, shooting 46 percent and appearing a bit quicker.
He plans to be at full strength when training camp opens next fall.
``It's tough, man,'' Morrison said. ``I'm going to try to make it a positive and work on my body. I guess I'm going to try to use it as a redshirt season.''
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