Bobcats center Al Jefferson hopeful to play in opener after spraining ankle

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Bobcats center Al Jefferson will wear a walking boot for the next several days before being reevaluated. (Kent Smith/Getty Images)

(Kent Smith/Getty Images)

A day after spraining his right ankle and being carried by teammates into the locker room, Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson told the Associated Press that he still hopes to be ready for the team's regular-season opener against the Houston Rockets on Oct. 30.

Jefferson suffered the injury when he landed on Chris Bosh's foot after jumping to challenge his shot during Friday night's preseason game against the Miami Heat.

X-rays were negative, but the 28-year-old center wore a walking boot and walked using crutches following the game.

From the AP:

''I'm going to do my best to be back for opening night,'' Jefferson said before the Bobcats played the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. ''I'm going to take it one day at a time and go through the process. I've sprained my ankle so many times, I just know how it goes.''

''Obviously, it's not ideal, but it's part of being on a team,'' Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. ''It changes a little bit in terms of our master plan in terms of how we would implement offense, the order we would go. We'd been spending a lot of time obviously on the post-up aspect of it.''

Jefferson, who signed a three-year, $41-million free-agent deal during the offseason, will wear the boot for the next several days before being reevaluated, according to the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.

He averaged 17-plus points and nine-plus rebounds for the fourth straight season with the Utah Jazz last year.

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