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Knicks’ Bargnani to miss first three games

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New York Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani will miss at least the first three games of the regular season because of a hamstring injury, the team announced Sunday.

Bargnani missed the last two weeks of the preseason with the injury and had an MRI recently.

Bargnani is scheduled to miss the Knicks’ season opener October 29 against the Chicago Bulls, the October 30 game in Cleveland against the Cavaliers, and the November 2 home game against the Charlotte Hornets.

He might miss additional games as well.

Bargnani averaged 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds last season, which was his first season with the Knicks. He played in just 42 games last season because of a torn ligament in his right elbow.

Jason Smith is likely to be the Knicks starting power forward with Bargnani sidelined.

The 7-foot Bargnani, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft, is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $11.5 million.