Tuesday , Jan , 22 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Should the Indianapolis Pacers Deal Jermaine O’Neal?

While Jermaine O’Neal has thrown out the possibility of missing the rest of the season to allow his left knee to heal, the Indiana Pacers don’t expect that.’I’m proceeding with the assumption of what our medical people tell me,’ coach Jim O’Brien said before Monday afternoon’s 110-103 victory over Philadelphia at Wachovia Center. ‘They feel it’s a bone bruise that can  be cleaned up and he’ll be ready to go.’ That means O’Neal will miss a minimum of two weeks, as the Pacers said in a statement Saturday, but perhaps not much more than that. O’Neal, who was on the bench for Monday’s game, doesn’t disagree with that possibility, calling a season-long absence a ‘worst-case scenario.’

He prefers to leave the issue open-ended, however.’I don’t want to put a timetable on when I’m coming back,’ he said. ‘That’s one thing (a timetable) I didn’t want the team to say, because we don’t really know. Me coming in and out of the lineup hurts the team, me not being able to practice hurts the team, me playing at 60 percent (hurts the team). Click here for more from the Indianapolis Star.