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76ERS

Allen Iverson's left hand is in a splint and soft cast, and Philadelphia's postseason hopes are looking grim.

The league's MVP is through for the rest of the regular season. Doctors said he is out for 4-to-6 weeks, and coach Larry Brown thinks fans should not expect him back sooner.

"He's a great player. He's what this team is about. We have to get his hand healed," Brown said. "I think if it were up to him, he'd be back tomorrow."

Iverson, who led the NBA in minutes, steals and scoring, with 31.5 points a game, broke a bone in his nonshooting hand during Friday night's win over Boston.

The team expects Iverson back for the playoffs. But Brown said a layoff of about five weeks will mean his star guard may not be in top form when he returns.

And there's no guarantee the 76ers will be around when he is ready. Philadelphia started the season 0-5 when Iverson was recovering from elbow surgery and are 0-8 when he has not played. He has led team scoring in all but six games this season.

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