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USC basketball: X-rays reveal fracture in senior forward Alex Stepheson's left hand

The USC men's basketball team received bad news Monday when X-rays revealed that senior forward Alex Stepheson, a vital player for the Trojans who was the Pacific 10 Conference's second leading returning rebounder heading into this season, fractured his left hand against UC Irvine.

The injury occurred when Stepheson's hand got tangled in another player's jersey against the Anteaters on Saturday, a game in which Stepheson scored six points and grabbed 13 rebounds. 

Originally, Stepheson believed his hand was sprained, and he wore a brace on it during Sunday's practice. He was also wearing a brace before Monday night's game against Santa Clara at the Galen Center and seemed ready to play. 

Stepheson, at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, averaged 8.4 points and 7.2 rebounds last season. His rebounding average was the second highest of any returning Pac-10 player behind fellow USC forward Nikola Vucevic (9.4).

Stepheson's status for the rest of the season is unknown at this point. 

-- Baxter Holmes

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