One of the key ingredients who enabled the 76ers to clinch a playoff spot this season might not be around for quite a while.

Sub guard Lou Williams, a strong candidate for Sixth Man of the Year honors along with teammate Thaddeus Young, strained his right hamstring during Saturday night's overtime loss in Milwaukee. An MRI was taken yesterday and the team announced that Williams will be out for the foreseeable future.

That is particularly concerning because the Sixers (40-37) have just five games remaining. Williams is fourth on the team in scoring at 13.7 points per game in 23.3 minutes and is second in three-pointers made with 88.

The team said that it will monitor Williams' injury on a daily basis to try to determine a timetable for his return.

The Sixers most likely will open the playoffs around April 16, which would give Williams almost 2 weeks to recover. The Sixers play at Boston tomorrow night before playing their final four games at the Wells Fargo Center.

For now, the Sixers appear to be on the verge of signing 36-year-old point guard Antonio Daniels to a 10-day contract. Nancy Lieberman, Daniels' coach with the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, said last night that the Sixers had contacted her about talking to Daniels.

"He is heading up there on Monday to talk to them,'' Lieberman said. "This is bittersweet for me because he is such a great leader of our team. Antonio is leading the league in assists and has been tremendous for us all season. Over the last eight games or so, he's been playing his best ball of the year. Over the past four games, he hasn't turned the ball over and has totaled 51 assists.''

Daniels has averaged 7.6 points in 13 seasons in the NBA, mostly recently in 2008-09 with Washington and New Orleans. He was the fourth overall pick of the 1997 draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies out of Bowling Green.

Lieberman said many NBA teams have contacted her throughout the season about Daniels, who missed time in November and December after tearing ligaments in his right (shooting) pinkie.