CLEVELAND (AP) -Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson could miss six weeks with a severely sprained left ankle, the latest costly injury for the defending Eastern Conference champions.
Gibson injured his ankle in the second quarter of Wednesday night's win over Indiana when he and Pacers guard Travis Diener were diving in the lane for a loose ball. Gibson had to be helped off the court by teammates.
An MRI taken on Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic confirmed the sprain, and the club said Gibson is expected to be out 4-to-6 weeks. Gibson has been Cleveland's best outside shooter all season, the one player teammate LeBron James can count on to make an open jumper.
He emerged as a hero in last season's playoffs. Gibson scored 19 points in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals as the Cavs eliminated the Detroit Pistons to reach the finals.
For the short term, Gibson's injury will make it even more difficult on the Cavs, who traded six players on Thursday in a three-way deal with Chicago and Seattle. Cleveland hosts Washington on Friday and the club may have to sign players from the NBA's Developmental League to have enough to face the Wizards.
Last weekend, Gibson was named MVP of the All-Star rookie challenge in New Orleans. He made 11 3-pointers in the East's win, and then finished second the next night to Toronto's Jason Kapono in the 3-point Shootout.
The second-year guard has been playing with confidence and has improved dramatically at both ends of the court.
Cleveland has been crushed by injuries all season. The club is currently without Anderson Varejao (sprained ankle) and Sasha Pavlovic (sprained foot). Varejao, who has been out since Jan. 27, could return as early as Sunday against Memphis.

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