<
>

With O'Neal out, Davis returns to Pacers

PORTLAND, Ore. -- All-Star forward Jermaine O'Neal was
placed on the injured list Friday by the Indiana Pacers, one day
after he sprained his right shoulder in a game at Denver.

O'Neal has a subluxated sprain of the right shoulder and will
miss at least five games. He had an MRI examination before Friday
night's game at Portland. The Pacers defeated the Trail Blazers 106-97 and snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Pacers also waived forward Michael Curry and signed veteran
free agent forward Dale Davis, who was waived by New Orleans this
week.
O'Neal was injured with 4½ minutes left in the second quarter
against the Nuggets when his right arm was knocked back by Denver's
Francisco Elson.
O'Neal stayed in the game after a timeout and, cradling his
right arm by his side, made two left-handed free throws. He went to
the locker room shortly thereafter. Initial X-Rays were negative.
Indiana went on to its third straight loss, 96-87.
The injury comes at a bad time for the Pacers, who were in the
eighth and fail playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after the
loss to the Nuggets. O'Neal is the Pacers' top scorer, averaging
24.8 points. He also averages nine rebounds.
The 6-foot-11, 230-pound Davis started in place of O'Neal in Friday night's game at Portland.

Davis' signing reunites him with the team where he began his
career. The Pacers made him their No. 1 draft pick in 1991 (13th
overall).
"It's unfortunate you have some guys that are banged up right
now," he said. "But it's an opportunity for me to play and get to
know the system."
The Pacers have been beset by injuries of late.
Point guard Jamaal Tinsley missed four games and was day-to-day
with a bruised left foot. Forward Jeff Foster played at Denver, but
missed the previous three games with back spasms.
"Everybody's going to have to pick it up," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said.
Davis played nine seasons for the Pacers, averaging 9.4 points
and 9.0 rebounds before he was traded to the Trail Blazers in a
deal that sent O'Neal to Indiana.
Davis played four seasons for the Trail Blazers and was traded
July 20, 2004, to Golden State. He played 36 games with the
Warriors before he was dealt to the Hornets.
He was pursued by both the Pacers and Detroit Pistons, but
ultimately settled on his former team.
"It just seemed a better fit for me," he said. "Nothing
against Detroit."
The terms of Davis' contract with the Pacers were not released.
"He gives us depth up front, which is important since we've
been bothered by injuries there all season, he gives us rebounding,
which we need, and he's one of the best defensive post players
we've ever had," team president Donnie Walsh said.