Two weeks ago, Lou Williams was playing the best basketball of his NBA career.
Now, Williams' jaw is wired shut and he can eat only through a straw.
It's a tough twist for Williams, the 76ers point guard whose broken jaw opened the door for the return of former star Allen Iverson.
Williams is expected to be sidelined for another seven weeks.
Last night at the Wachovia Center, 90 minutes before Iverson made his debut against the Denver Nuggets, Williams talked about his injury and about having Iverson back.
"The worst part is not being able to eat," said Williams, who was averaging 17.4 points a game when he was hurt Nov. 24. "I'm losing weight, but other than that I'm doing fine. My spirits are high, so that's good."
Williams, holding his basketball sneakers, added: "I'm about to go work out."
The guard said he is learning how to breathe while working out: Obviously he can't open his mouth when winded.
Because he remained at home during the Sixers' weeklong road trip, during which time the team signed Iverson, Williams said he spent some time with the all-star point guard.
"I've been the only guy in town, so I've been able to work out with him a couple of times and talk with him and pick his brain, so I think we have the same goals in mind as far as this team," Williams said.
Sixers coach Eddie Jordan started a lineup of Iverson, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembert. Since Iverson's departure, Iguodala has been the last of the starters announced at home games.
Despite the circumstances, that didn't change last night: Iverson was announced fourth in the order, Iguodala last.
Holiday sits again
Rookie Jrue Holiday did not play last night for the second straight game because of a strained right rotator cuff, suffered in practice last week.
Iguodala did not practice Sunday because of a sprained right ankle suffered during Saturday's loss in Charlotte. Before last night's game, Iguodala said he could not really jump off the ankle, but it's the "off ankle," so it's less of a concern.
"Just can't plant, explode," Iguodala explained. "But [I'll] just fight through it."
- Kate Fagan