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Charlotte Bobcats’ coach assumes center Brendan Haywood is out for the season

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Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford is working under the assumption he won’t have center Brendan Haywood at all this season.

Haywood has been out since the preseason when doctors diagnosed a stress fracture in his left foot. Though the prognosis at the time was he’d miss roughly 12 weeks, Haywood has yet to be cleared for weight-bearing activity on the basketball court.

“I just think it will be difficult,” for him to play this season, Clifford said. “Even if he progressed to the point where he could get on the floor, it’s been a long time and he’s a big man. It’s hard to be out that long and get your rhythm to play.”

With Haywood out, the Bobcats’ best use of the 15th roster spot is a third center. They lost one Friday when Justin Hamilton signed with the Miami Heat after Hamilton’s 10-day contract with the Bobcats expired.

Clifford said one of the toughest things to do this time of year is find a capable free-agent big man.

“We’re working on it,” Clifford said. “We need a third center and it’s hard to find those guys.”

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