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Archive for Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Malaria strikes Mutombo

Mild case shelves Hawks’ center for two weeks

October 18, 2000

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— Atlanta Hawks center Dikembe Mutombo has a mild case of malaria, and is expected miss about two weeks.

"It's not life threatening, it's not career threatening," Hawks general manager Pete Babcock said Tuesday. "It sounds terrible, but it's really like a bad case of the flu."

Mutombo was hospitalized with a fever Monday in Springfield, Mass., where the Hawks played in the NBA Hall of Fame exhibition game against the Boston Celtics. Babcock said the team learned Mutombo had the disease at halftime of Monday's game.

The Hawks don't know when Mutombo will be able to return. Atlanta opens the season Oct. 31 against the Charlotte Hornets.

"According to the doctors, the medicine that he has been given will knock out the malaria completely," Babcock said. "He'll come back whenever he's healthy and his body recovers."

The 7-foot center was on his way back to Atlanta on Tuesday and not available for comment. Babcock said Mutombo would rest at home.

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