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10-27-2004, 11:33 PM
Foster, Johnson Out 6-8 Weeks

By Conrad Brunner | Oct. 27, 2004
The news wasn't as good as hoped, but it could've been worse.

Jeff Foster and Anthony Johnson both are expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, slightly longer than original projections, Coach Rick Carlisle said Wednesday night before the Pacers played a preseason game against the Chicago Bulls in Conseco Fieldhouse.

Foster underwent surgery to repair cartilage in his hip Wednesday morning.

"The surgery went as well as it possibly could have," Carlisle said. "It was very obvious when they got in there that the procedure was needed. They shaved it off and cleaned it out but it's going to take a while. You're talking about a 7-foot guy that probably can run a 4.8 40. His body is a highly tuned engine and he's going to have to be right before he comes back."

Johnson suffered a fractured bone in his right hand in the second half of the Pacers' 102-96 victory over Memphis on Tuesday night in Conseco Fieldhouse.

"The good news is they don't have to do surgery," Carlisle said. "The bad news is it's going to take a little longer for the healing process because of the nature of the fracture."

Four starters missed the Chicago game, including Foster and Jermaine O'Neal, who is resting a sore foot.

Carlisle remains hopeful O'Neal will return for the regular-season opener in Cleveland next Wednesday, it isn't certain.

"Until you see him out on the court playing and not having any problems, there's concern," he said. "I'd be shocked if he played on Friday (in the preseason finale against Denver) and we're hopeful for next Wednesday but we don't know."

Carlisle opted to sit Ron Artest and Jamaal Tinsley for precautionary reasons. Jonathan Bender (knee) and David Harrison (right shoulder) did not play due to injury.

"Mother Nature is stronger than all of us," Carlisle said. "Whatever (time) it's going to take, it's going to take. The important thing is these guys get healthy."

10-28-2004, 01:37 AM