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Sun Sets On Penny's Season

Suns guard Penny Hardaway, still bothered by an injured left knee, will probably miss the rest of the season.

"It has become apparent that only time and continued therapy and rehabilitation will allow for his productive return," Phoenix general manager Bryan Colangelo said Tuesday. "As disappointing as this is, we must be prepared to forge on and complete the season without Penny."

Hardaway left practice without speaking to reporters, and coach Scott Skiles declined to discuss the situation.

Hardaway, who averaged 16.9 points, a career-high 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 60 games with the Suns last season, had surgery on his left knee on May 26 and another operation on the knee on Nov. 25.

He returned to the active roster on Jan. 7, averaging 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in four games.

But he began complaining about pain in his knee, and doctors found acute inflammation of the cartilage. Colangelo said the knee failed to respond to treatment and that Hardaway would likely miss the remainder of the season.

Hardaway hurt the joint April 22 in a collision with San Antonio's David Robinson during the first game of the teams' first-round playoff series, but returned to the game and continued to play throughout the playoffs.

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