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News worse for Pacers star, now out 6-8 weeks

Associated Press
Published October 31, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS - Reggie Miller's broken left hand is worse than initial examinations revealed, and the Pacers star is now expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Miller injured his nonshooting hand in Indiana's preseason finale against Denver on Friday night. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said after the game that Miller would miss four to six weeks.

Miller was re-examined Saturday, the latest in a long line of bad news for the Pacers.

Indiana already is without Jermaine O'Neal (strained ligament in left foot), Jeff Foster (hip), Anthony Johnson (broken hand), David Harrison (shoulder) and Jonathan Bender (knee).

O'Neal said Saturday that team doctors have told him he could miss three to four weeks to let his foot heal.

"I don't plan to be out three to four weeks," O'Neal said. "That's just what the doctor says."

The Pacers will need their best player back as soon as possible.

Indiana probably can get by with Stephen Jackson filling in for Miller and Scot Pollard for Foster at center, but as Austin Croshere said, "We don't have anyone else on our team that does all the things Jermaine can do.

"We'll just have to tread water until all these guys get back," he said.

CARTER IN COURT: Vince Carter is scheduled to be back in federal court Monday to testify in a lawsuit filed by a former agent, though the Raptors star hopes to play in the opener Wednesday.

"Hopefully, I do what I have to do and I don't have to stay," Carter said.

Carter would miss practice to attend the trial in Columbia, S.C. He missed two preseason games last week but returned to Toronto for Friday's game.

William "Tank" Black wants Carter to pay him $9-million in commissions for endorsement deals the former agent said he landed for Carter, as well as $5-million in damages, according to the suit filed last year.

NETS: Center Jason Collins signed a four-year, $24-million contract extension through the 2008-09 season.

SONICS: Starting center Vitaly Potapenko is expected to be sidelined six weeks with a broken right hand. Team officials said they don't think Potapenko will need surgery. He is expected to be re-evaluated in a week.

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