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Ants lose Howard to broken hand

Top scorer out 3-5 weeks

The Mad Ants (9-13) will be without leading scorer Ron Howard when they play at Austin (9-9) on Wednesday, then visit East Division-leading Iowa (18-5) for back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.

Howard suffered a fractured left hand in the Mad Ants’ game at Erie, Pa., and is expected to be out between three and five weeks, according to coach Joey Meyer.

“He doesn’t have to have surgery,” Meyer said. That’s something we were worried about. He came back (Monday) and saw our doctors. He doesn’t have to have surgery. It’s a clean fracture, so it will heal by itself.”

Howard, a 6-foot-5 forward, is the team’s leading scorer with a 22.4 average. He also averages 3.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game.

The loss of Howard comes on top of the Ants playing without 6-foot-11 center Jared Reiner, whose 15.5 points and 10.3 rebounds are lost because of a sore back.

“Jared Reiner practiced (Monday), but his back is still not good, so he’s not going to go on the trip with us, so we’re missing Reiner and Howard,” Meyer said. “Hopefully we’ll get Reiner back and hopefully Ron heals. We’re without our No. 1 rebounder and No. 1 scorer. It would be nice to have both those guys back at some point.”

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