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The Indiana Pacers acquired a former All-Star on Wednesday, but they could be without their best player for some time.
Forward Jermaine O'Neal said Wednesday night he hopes his injured left groin will keep him out of the lineup for only a week or two.
"It's not feeling too good. I'm hoping it won't keep me out too long," O'Neal said in a phone interview. "The timing of this couldn't be any worse, especially with (Peja) Stojakovic coming. We need everybody so that we can start jelling. I can't be there to help the chemistry and help this team."
O'Neal injured his groin early in the fourth quarter of the Pacers' blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. He immediately went to the locker room. O'Neal had an MRI on Wednesday and the team should know the results today.
O'Neal has been hampered by injuries this season. He missed three games with pneumonia and three games with a left ankle injury, all this month.
"Any time you're without your best player, it's going to present a challenge," coach Rick Carlisle said. "There's no doubt Jermaine is our most important player, but collectively we're going to have to find a way to win games."
The Pacers, who have lost four consecutive games, play Cleveland at Conseco Fieldhouse on Friday.
Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053
This just in. To show support for his fellow Pacer Jamaal Tinsley pulled a hamstring while doing stretching exercises with an unidentified dustpan.