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Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha needs surgery on leg fractured in arrest

Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha to miss rest of season after his right leg was fractured during arrest

While Atlanta Hawks reserve guard Thabo Sefolosha prepares for surgery to repair a fractured right leg and ligament damage sustained while being arrested early Wednesday morning during the investigation into the stabbing of the Indiana Pacers' Chris Copeland, teammate Pero Antic spoke to reporters Friday and apologized for "being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Antic, a backup center for the Hawks, did not go into detail about a video that was released on TMZ's website that showed the arrest, which police said was necessary because the two Atlanta players were allegedly obstructing their investigation.

"There's a video out that speaks for itself," Antic told reporters. "The only thing I can say is that we feel bad for the bad publicity that we brought to the Hawks organization and the Hawks family."

Antic said he and Sefolosha were not at a Manhattan nightclub when the stabbings occurred. Copeland and his girlfriend as well as another woman were stabbed. A suspect is in custody.

Sefolosha and Antic were arrested on suspicion of obstructing authorities and disorderly conduct. The two Hawks players released a statement saying they deny the allegations. A June 16 court date has been set. 

"We don't have nothing to do with what happened with that," Antic said of the Copeland stabbings. "We weren't together. We didn't see the guy, and whatever happened, happened way before.

"I would say that it's a pure example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I mean, people know Thabo for so many years in the league. He's probably one of the greatest guys. The reporters who are here know me. … It's just a pure example of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The Hawks organization released a statement from Coach Mike Budenholzer on the incident. He also spoke briefly to reporters Friday.

"The events ... were unfortunate as we never want to see our players put themselves in a potentially negative situation," Budenholzer said in the statement. "We will continue to look into the facts of the incident but with the information and foundation that we currently have established, we will support them through this process."

Budenholzer also released a statement after an MRI exam revealed Sefolosha would need surgery.

"This is a very difficult situation for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery," Budenholzer said. "We know that his approach and dedication will serve him well in his rehabilitation," Budenholzer said in a statement. "Our team remains focused and will be prepared as we head into the postseason."

The National Basketball Players Assn. released a statement indicating they were investigating the incidents involving Copeland and the Hawks players.

"The players' union is concerned about the circumstances of Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic's arrest and is doing its own investigation of the situation," NBPA spokeswoman Tara Greco said in the statement. "The union was fully engaged in supporting all three players in court and in the precinct this week, and will continue to stay engaged as each situation evolves."

Internet reports and wire services contributed to this report.

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