Thursday , Feb , 19 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Artest out indefinitely with thumb injury

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Ron Artest
underwent surgery Thursday to repair a ligament tear in his left thumb and
will be sidelined indefinitely.

Artest originally strained the thumb during a January 17 game against New
Jersey. He then aggravated the injury during Tuesday’s loss at New Orleans
when he fell on his left hand in Indiana’s first game back from the All-Star
break.

Coming off the bench following his first career All-Star appearance, Artest
finished the Hornets’ contest with just 13 points on 1-of-10 shooting in 31
minutes. The volatile Artest was benched for missing a Monday night practice
and did not enter the game until midway through the second quarter.

The 24-year-old defensive specialist is in the midst of the best season of his
career. He is averaging 18.0 points and 5.3 rebounds over 52 games.

IND