Injured Pacers guard refuses to speak

Updated: October 30, 2004, 5:17 PM ET news services

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

Miller injured his non-shooting 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.

Reggie Miller

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

Indiana is already 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 can probably 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.

Miller's injury is particularly upsetting to the 39-year-old, who has strongly hinted that this will be the last season of his brilliant career.

Miller refused comment after practice on Saturday.

"You know Reggie's frustrated,'' O'Neal said. "It's a helpless feeling being on the sideline knowing you can't do anything. That's something he doesn't want to happen because he's such a leader on this team and he leads by example.''

Carlisle kept some of his reserve players, including Bender and guards Eddie Gill and Fred Jones, after practice longer to get them ready to play big minutes in the season-opener on Wednesday at Cleveland.

"Rather than worry about the guys we don't have right now, we have to try to play the strengths of the guys we do have available and figure out a way to win games,'' Carlisle said.

The 39-year-old Miller was injured while running through a screen in the first quarter and left holding his non-shooting hand. He will be examined Saturday to determine the extent of the injury.

One of the NBA's best clutch players, Miller is the Pacers' all-time leading scorer. He is entering his 18th season with the club.

Miller, who turned 39 in August, averaged 10.0 points last season - matching his lowest average since his rookie campaign in 1987. He missed the first 12 games of the regular season with a bruised ankle.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.