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Tennessee's Burdick has broken bone in right hand

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)

Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick is out indefinitely after breaking a bone in her right hand.

Although the 12th-ranked Lady Vols didn't practice Monday, Burdick was working out on her own when she fractured the fourth metacarpal of her shooting hand.

There is no timetable for Burdick's return, though the 6-foot-2 sophomore is expected back before the end of the season.

''I feel for Cierra, and I feel for this team,'' Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said Tuesday in a statement released by the university. ''She's a vital part of our success, but this is a team sport and somebody is just going to have to step up.''

Burdick ranks fourth on the team in scoring (8.8) and third in rebounding (6.5). She had started 11 of Tennessee's first 12 games.

The Lady Vols (9-3) open their Southeastern Conference schedule Thursday at No. 18 South Carolina (11-1).

''It's a tough time (for this to happen), as we're getting ready to head into our SEC play, but we'll get her back'' Warlick said. ''We're going to have to deal with it and stay positive.''

Tennesssee already has been playing without freshman guard Andraya Carter, who started five of the Lady Vols' first seven games before undergoing season-ending arthroscopic surgery for a torn labrum on her right shoulder on Dec. 13.

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