Appears Rick Carlisle was the source of the confusion on exactly what the injury is.
Pacers' Artest has sprained thumb
By Mark Montieth
January 27, 2004
Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest has a sprained left thumb that should not keep him out of game action.
That, at least, was the latest report following a confusing turn of events following the Pacers practice at Conseco Fieldhouse today.
Artest, who flew to New York on Monday to be examined, told reporters he wasn't sure of his thumb's condition until team personnel studied his MRI.
Moments later, coach Rick Carlisle said Artest had suffered torn ligaments. But after most reporters had left, Carlisle came back to correct himself.
"I got wrong information," Carlisle said. "He's got a strained thumb.
"It's bothering him, but we're hopeful."
Artest had torn a ligament in the thumb his sophomore season at St. John's, and underwent surgery. He re-injured it in the Pacers' game at New Jersey on Jan. 17.
Although he's continued to play, his performance has been obviously hindered. He's hit 31 percent of his field goal attempts and averaged 4.2 rebounds in the five game since suffering the injury.
Artest was a full participant in Monday's practice, however, and talked optimistically of his ability to continue playing.
"You make sure you protect yourself and just play the game," he said.
"It could be a season-long (problem), but you go through it. In the playoffs one year Scottie Pippen fell on his back, but (Chicago) still won the championship."
Artest admitted the injury has curtailed his aggressiveness and confidence in recent games. He hopes the encouraging diagnosis allows him to return to the level of play that could earn him a spot in the All-Star game.
"The past couple of games there were a lot of things I didn't want to do, because I didn't want to be out before the playoffs," he said. "You give all you can give and wait to get the results back."