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Francis Is Reinstated by Orlando

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From the Associated Press

Steve Francis was reinstated by the Orlando Magic on Monday, three days after he was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

Francis, who missed two games, met with team officials on Monday.

“We now consider the matter closed and look forward to Steve’s return to practice tomorrow,” assistant general manager Otis Smith said in a statement.

Citing anonymous sources, two newspapers reported Francis was suspended for refusing to reenter the fourth quarter of a blowout loss last week.

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The guard, averaging 16.6 points and 5.4 assists this season, is expected to play Wednesday night at home against Washington.

Jeff Fried, Francis’ agent, said the three-time All-Star returned to his Houston home while away from the team and was eager to return.

“I genuinely believe that while it was a difficult few days, this incident will make Steve into even a better player and a leader of the team,” Fried said. “Right now, he’s so anxious to get back out on the court he wishes practice was tonight.”

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New Jersey Net backup guard Jeff McInnis has torn cartilage in his left knee that will require surgery, Coach Lawrence Frank said.

In 28 games, McInnis has averaged 5.3 points and 1.9 assists.

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