JB sits out too with an injured foot. ed:

On the bright side, it sounds like Mr. Jones is ready to return.

JO Misses Practice

O'Neal sits out practice with injured eye


Associated Press
May 20, 2004


Jermaine O'Neal sat out the Indiana Pacers' practice today to rest his injured left eye, but plans to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday.

O'Neal watched practice in street clothes and sunglasses and was scheduled to visit an eye doctor later today.

"There's no way I'm not going to play Saturday," O'Neal said.

His eye was injured on perhaps his biggest play of Tuesday's series-clinching win over Miami in Game 6.

With the Pacers clinging to a four-point lead with about one minute to play, O'Neal emphatically blocked a dunk attempt by Miami's Caron Butler. Butler inadvertently poked O'Neal in the eye on the play.

O'Neal's eye was still puffy and red on today, but he said he was feeling much better and would wear tinted goggles in Saturday's Game 1 if necessary.

Forward Jonathan Bender also missed practice with what Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said was an injured foot. Guard Fred Jones appears ready after missing the last two playoffs games with a strained left shoulder.

Starting center Jeff Foster also had a sore back, but all three are expected to play on Saturday.