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Mourning’s Status Is Uncertain

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From Associated Press

The Miami Heat broke training camp Monday without all-star center Alonzo Mourning, and they don’t know if or when he’ll return.

He has been in Miami undergoing further tests so doctors can determine the treatment for an apparent kidney disorder.

Mourning told close friend Patrick Ewing of the Seattle SuperSonics that he’ll play this season. At Mourning’s request, the Heat has declined to discuss his condition or prognosis.

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“Zo left me a message Sunday and told us to keep working hard, and he’ll take care of his end of it,” Heat Coach Pat Riley said in Boca Raton, Fla. “He’s in great spirits. He just wants to find out what’s available out there and what the definitive answer is, and then we’ll go from there.”

Mourning’s ailment was discovered during a routine physical examination before training camp began last week.

Mourning discussed his condition last week with Ewing, the Miami Herald reported.

“Our conversation went fine, and he was in good spirits,” Ewing said. “In fact, he cursed me out because I sounded depressed on the phone when he told me what he had. ...

“He’s going to play again this season. He just said he is going to play again at some point. I don’t know when that is.”

Mourning, 30, hasn’t been with the team or appeared in public since media day last Tuesday.

The Heat stress that its first concern is Mourning’s health, and there has been no discussion about bringing in a replacement if he can’t play this season, Riley said. Miami would have about $4 million available under the salary cap for a disabled-player exception.

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A rap album by Philadelphia 76er star Allen Iverson sparked a protest from a civil rights group.

Members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Assn. for Nonviolence and a handful of protesters demonstrated outside two Philadelphia radio stations to speak out against the album and ask the stations not to play it.

“What we’re concerned about is the children,” said C. DeLores Tucker, president of the association.

Iverson’s unreleased hard-core rap album, “Non-Fiction,” has been called anti-gay, anti-women and overly violent by its critics.

WUSL-FM news director Loraine Ballard Morrill said her station had not received the album. WPHI-FM has been playing a track from the album since last week.

Iverson released a statement last week apologizing to gays and women who might be offended by the lyrics on the album.

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New Jersey Net forward Jamie Feick had surgery on the Achilles’ tendon in his left leg and will be sidelined at least the first month of the season.

He was diagnosed with chronic Achilles’ tendinitis and a calcium deposit last week.

Feick, who played in 81 games last season, won’t be able to start rehabilitation for six to eight weeks, Net General Manager John Nash said.

Feick averaged 5.7 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds last season.

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