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Kings Notes: Darren Collison has surgery, won’t be rushed back

Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison (7) waits for play to continue after a foul against the Miami Heat at Sleep Train Arena on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015.
Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison (7) waits for play to continue after a foul against the Miami Heat at Sleep Train Arena on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Kings guard Darren Collison had successful surgery for a core muscle injury Tuesday and will be out six weeks, the team announced.

The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.

The timeline for recovery effectively ends Collison’s season. The last game of the season is April 15 against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

“My gut right now from the standpoint of basketball is it would probably be silly to try to rush him back,” Kings coach George Karl said.

Collision was averaging 16.1 points and 3.2 rebounds and leads the Kings with 5.6 assists to go with 1.5 steals. He started all 45 games he’s played in this season.

Ray McCallum is the starting point guard with Collison sidelined. Collison has not played since leaving Sacramento’s loss to Dallas on Feb. 5 with what was diagnosed as a strained right hip flexor.

No gloating – Denver fired coach Brian Shaw, who succeeded Karl in Denver.

The Nuggets won a franchise-record 57 games and Karl was NBA Coach of the Year for 2012-13 when he was fired after the season following a first-round loss to Golden State in the playoffs.

“Anytime a coach gets fired, my reaction is usually down,” Karl said. “I feel bad for anybody. It’s a tough job. It’s a great job. It’s one of 30. My mood toward the Denver Nuggets over the last four or five months lately has been I feel bad for them. I didn’t want to see them hit bottom like this.”

The Nuggets are 20-39 and have lost six in a row. The team has traded Arron Afflalo, Timofey Mozgov and JaVale McGee this season, each of whom was thought to be a part of the core at one point.

“Brian should know there’s a lot of coaches who have failed in their first stint who have come back to be very, very good coaches in this league,” Karl said. “It’s how he learns from this experience and how he perseveres through it, and hopefully, he’ll have another chance to be a head man somewhere.”

Ready to work – Karl said he is looking forward to working with new Kings vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac.

“I’m excited,” Karl said. “Vlade and I have some history. In 2002, he made my life very miserable.”

Divac played for Yugoslavia in the FIBA World Championships, which beat Team USA in the quarterfinals. Karl was coach for Team USA.

“He’s a great player, classy guy; I know Sacramento loves him,” Karl said. “So maybe I’ll just come in on his coattails a little bit.”

Et cetera – Jason Thompson tied Mitch Richmond for the second-most games played in Sacramento-era history with 517 when the Kings played the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Thompson will pass Peja Stojakovic for most games played Friday at Orlando, barring injury.

▪ The Kings did not sign guard David Stockton to a second 10-day contract. The son of the Hall of Fame guard, John Stockton, David appeared in one game for the Kings and had a point, an assist and two rebounds in seven minutes.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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