Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster will have arthroscopic surgery to repair a cartilage tear in his right hip Wednesday morning and will miss the start of the regular season.
Scot Pollard will start while Foster recovers, which is expected to take four to six weeks.
"The opinion was I could play through it, but by December or January I'd be pretty bad," Foster said this morning. "The consensus was to get it fixed and by mid-December hopefully I'll be 100 percent."
The surgery will repair Foster's labrum, a joint socket. He isn't sure when the injury occurred, but believes it was in a summer pick-up game at the San Antonio Spurs training facility when a player fell on him and he felt something pop.
He played in the first two preseason games, averaging 10.5 points on 73 percent shooting in 15.5 minutes. He sat out the three games previous to tonight's game with Memphis at Conseco Fieldhouse, however, and was held out of practice as well.
"I was really, really tight in my hip," Foster said. "We couldn't get it worked out, and when they finally worked it out it brought the problem to life."
Pollard started the first two games last season before losing the job to Foster, who went on to average 6.1 points and 7.4 rebounds. Pollard endured his most frustrating season in the NBA a year ago, averaging 1.7 points while playing sparingly. The seven-year veteran reported to training camp in better shape and has averaged 6 points and 6.4 rebounds in five preseason games.
I've started games before and played a lot of minutes before -- just not in Indiana," Pollard smiled. "Hopefully my body is ready to do what it used to be able to do."
Jermaine O'Neal and David Harrison also are nursing minor injuries, leaving the Pacers thin at the center position as they conclude the preseason with three games this week.
O'Neal could miss the remaining games as a precautionary measure, while Harrison hopes to return for at least one game.
The injuries could create a roster spot, at least temporarily, for free agent rookie center John Edwards.
"That's a question for Larry (Bird) and Donnie (Walsh)," Carlisle said. "On paper it would certainly appear possible, but they're going to have to make that decision."