Shaq on Wednesday: 'I feel good'

Updated: February 23, 2005, 10:26 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Shaquille O'Neal won't play before his injured knee is examined by doctors in Miami on Thursday.

"He's taking an MRI tomorrow," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said before the game Wednesday night at the Pacers.

Van Gundy said the team trainer doesn't think O'Neal's injury is serious.

The Heat's next game will be at home on Saturday against the Magic. Van Gundy wouldn't speculate how long O'Neal might be sidelined.

Shaquille O'Neal
APO'Neal stumbled after going up for an alley-oop pass.
O'Neal left the game against the Bulls on Tuesday night after landing awkwardly early in the first quarter. He fell onto Bulls forward Othella Harrington, after going up for an alley-oop pass from Dwyane Wade, and stayed on the floor for several minutes holding his knee.

He was then helped off the floor and into the locker room.

He appeared to limp slightly as he walked through the Heat locker room at Conseco Fieldhouse before Wednesday night's game, saying only, "I feel good," but refusing to answer questions from the media.

O'Neal played only two minutes against the Bulls and did not score.

He missed a game in December due to a calf injury and is averaging 22.7 points and 10.4 rebounds in his first season with the Heat.

"Obviously, our team has been built around him. But there's other ways we have to play," Van Gundy said.

"We've played two pretty good games without him this year, and we'll need to play extremely well."

Van Gundy said he wasn't anxious in anticipation of O'Neal's MRI on Thursday.

"I've got no control over it," he said. "I'm more on pins and needles to see how we're going to play, to be honest.

"We've got to develop a game we can play when he's out of the lineup, even for 6 or 8 minutes a game, and be effective," Van Gundy said.

"I think we've done that pretty well. Doing it for 48 minutes is a little tougher, but everybody goes through things in an NBA season and there's no excuses. You need to step up and play."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press