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Frank Slade
10-18-2005, 12:48 PM
PACERS FACE SPURS TONIGHT
Injuries Limiting Options At Center

http://www.nba.com/media/pacers/harrison_330_oneal.jpg
By Conrad Brunner | Oct. 18, 2005
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Less than two weeks ago, Rick Carlisle said he was "light years away" from being able to determine the Pacers' starting center.
The decision isn't getting any easier, although the options are dwindling.



Carlisle

All three true centers on the roster are injured and could miss the rest of the preseason. Scot Pollard, who started the first two exhibition games, suffered a torn calf muscle Thursday night against Utah and said he expected to miss at least three weeks. David Harrison, who has yet to play in the preseason, was determined to have a torn abdominal muscle and will be out a minimum of 10 more days. Incumbent starter Jeff Foster, who's recovering from his second hip surgery in two years, has been bothered by ongoing pain in his Achilles tendon dating back to last season and isn't expected to be ready for the opening of the regular season – which is just a little more than two weeks away on Nov. 2 in Orlando.

The preseason schedule will reach its midpoint after the Pacers play San Antonio tonight in Conseco Fieldhouse, and Carlisle remains optimistic he'll regain the services of at least one of his three centers within the next two weeks, although he said Foster is "very doubtful to start the season."

"There's a good chance we could get one or two of our centers back before the season starts," he said. "That's obviously what we're hoping for right now. If that doesn't happen, we're going to be looking at J.O. (Jermaine O'Neal) playing some center, for sure, and we're going to have to do some flying by the seat of our pants, which we've become accustomed to here."

Of course, O'Neal has yet to play in the preseason thanks to a thigh bruise. He's targeting Thursday night's game against Minnesota in Billings, Mont., as a possibility for his return.



O'Neal http://www.nba.com/media/playerfile/jermaine_oneal.jpg

"I've been playing center (offensively) since I've been here, so it's no real problem," O'Neal said. "The league has changed so much at that position. There's only maybe four or five true centers left in this league. I have no problems with that. If they're going to try to bang me, I feel like I'm strong enough to bang back, and I'm going to have to make them pay on the other end, as far as trying to keep up with me."

Pollard's injury was particularly frustrating because the veteran, entering the final season of his contract, was looking at a golden opportunity to re-establish himself as a valuable member of the rotation. He said doctors told him he could expect to miss between three and six weeks.



Pollard http://www.nba.com/media/playerfile/scot_pollard.jpg

"It's frustrating because I didn't really do anything to injure it," he said. "I just turned and ran down the court and it popped. It makes you feel old. I was getting minutes and I was feeling good. My back was feeling about as good as it can feel and allowing me to play. It's frustrating to have a setback other than my back. I'm used to my back being something to deal with but not other things."

Harrison's injury took a while to diagnose, because the primary symptom – a stabbing pain in his side near the bottom of his rib cage – could've indicated many things. Coming off an impressive offseason both in terms of summer-league play and conditioning, Harrison is being counted on to develop into a much more consistent low-post threat.



Harrison http://www.nba.com/media/playerfile/david_harrison.jpg

"It's pretty irritating but luckily it happened now," Harrison said. "When the games count, I can be out there, definitely. It's frustrating but it's just something that happens. … I've just got to stay out here every day and make sure I know everything. We've got a lot of stuff to do out there."

In the meantime, Carlisle will turn to free agents Samaki Walker and Damone Brown to help fill the gap in the middle along with veteran Austin Croshere. And center isn't the only position thinned by injury. Fully eight players missed the Pacers' 93-84 victory over Minnesota Friday night (Foster, Harrison, Pollard, O'Neal, Jonathan Bender, Fred Jones, Jamaal Tinsley and Anthony Johnson) and Carlisle isn't sure which of those, if any, will be available Tuesday night.

"That's all right," he said. "We've got to be ready. There's a lot more games before we start and this is forcing us to be flexible, which we knew we had to be. We've got some guys learning multiple positions. We've got to make the best of it."

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/camp_centers_050818.html

Peck
10-18-2005, 01:34 PM
Sure would be nice to have Dale Davis about right now.

I don't say that as an indictment on anyone because I know we couldn't have afforded him & I don't blame him for taking that kind of money. But damn if we could only have given him Benders contract.

Frank Slade
10-18-2005, 01:35 PM
Sure would be nice to have Dale Davis about right now.

I don't say that as an indictment on anyone because I know we couldn't have afforded him & I don't blame him for taking that kind of money. But damn if we could only have given him Benders contract.

What takes the cake is if Detroit just lets him sit on the end of thier deep(kstat) bench all year just to spite us...:mad:

Bball
10-18-2005, 01:53 PM
I love the slowly changing news but yet it's never reported as 'new' or 'changing'. It just ebbs along... each article easing us into a little more bad news. The thing is, by the time we start getting the full picture we learn none of this is any real mystery and has been ongoing.
Foster is the perfect example. It goes like this:
-He needed another little hip surgery to correct some tiny tiny tiny issues from last year but it is going great guns-

-He won't play in the preseason opener but should be ready soon and will be ready for the season opener-

-He's still not playing any preseason games because his Achilles has started bothering him but the team is confident he'll be ready by the opener-

-There's some concern he might not be ready for the opener due to his Achilles but Carlisle remains optimistic-

And then...
"Incumbent starter Jeff Foster, who's recovering from his second hip surgery in two years, has been bothered by ongoing pain in his Achilles tendon dating back to last season and isn't expected to be ready for the opening of the regular season"

Followed by:

Carlisle said Foster is "very doubtful to start the season."


-Bball

Bball
10-18-2005, 01:57 PM
What takes the cake is if Detroit just lets him sit on the end of thier deep(kstat) bench all year just to spite us...:mad:

I've never doubted the Pistons wanting Dale was more to keep him from us.

-Bball

flying dutchman
10-18-2005, 02:02 PM
Maybe we should try to get the other Davis back... He would be a nice backup, but I don't think he's interested.

Will Galen
10-18-2005, 02:07 PM
Another thought is we have so many injured that we couldn't make many trades if we wanted to.

Fool
10-18-2005, 03:07 PM
I've never doubted the Pistons wanting Dale was more to keep him from us.

-Bball

While clearly that was a benefit, I think losing the Championship because you had to put a SF on Tim Duncan was the bigger incentive for picking up Davis.

Unclebuck
10-18-2005, 03:26 PM
This injury stuff drives me nuts too, but the teams have to be very careful in what info they make public. Not because they want to drive us all nuts, but because they just go publish a lot of medical information.

aceace
10-18-2005, 03:45 PM
I think some of these injuries are kinda like the IR for the 13-14-15th men. Why take a chance on getting guys hurt before the season starts. The 82 game season takes a toll on bodies. Why not just practice them, get them in shape and let the team cohesion take place the first part of the season. If you can save the bodies a little it will make you better later on .... I plan on us playing close to a 100 games this year.

Arcadian
10-18-2005, 03:45 PM
The injury reporting doesn't really bother me. Either the player is out there or he isn't. My knowing what is wrong isn't going to change anything.

Besides if I were the Pacers I would keep tight lipped about injuries. There is no benefit of letting everyone know what is wrong with a player.

JBones19
10-18-2005, 04:27 PM
Anyone else think that Pollard might just retire after this year?

317Kim
10-18-2005, 04:36 PM
:hmm: maybe he will consider retirement not sure if he'd do it though...