Tuesday , Apr , 19 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Shaq out for rest of regular season

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal will not play
in the final two games of the regular season because of a bruised right thigh.
The club placed him on the injured list Tuesday, but can activate him for when
the playoffs start.

O’Neal was hurt during the first half of Sunday’s 84-80 victory over Indiana
and did not practice Monday or participate in Tuesday’s shoot-around.

The Heat have already locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference
playoffs and will close the regular season with games against Charlotte on
Tuesday and Orlando on Wednesday. The playoffs then begin on the weekend.

O’Neal had 11 points, three rebounds and a blocked shot in 17 minutes of
action before exiting Sunday’s game with 43.7 seconds remaining in the first
half.

The injury occurred when Indiana forward Jermaine O’Neal elevated for a layup
and drove his knee into the thigh of Shaquille O’Neal, who was attempting to
block the shot. Shaquille O’Neal went directly to the locker room and was
visibly limping.

In his first season with the Heat, the 1999-00 league MVP is averaging 22.9
points and 10.4 rebounds with 171 blocked shots.

Former All-Star Alonzo Mourning started at center for the Heat in the second
half on Sunday, finishing the game with eight points, nine boards and three
blocked shots in 25 minutes. Shaq is also a three-time NBA Finals MVP.

Mourning will likely get the start in the final two games.

To replace O’Neal on the active roster, the Heat activated Dorell Wright from
the IL. Wright has appeared in just one game this season and has been out
since February 11 with bilateral patella tendinitis.

MIA