Granger dealing with knee injury from senior year

Updated: July 12, 2005, 8:45 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Lingering soreness from an old knee injury will keep first-round pick Danny Granger from playing with the Indiana Pacers in the Minnesota summer league.

Granger tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee his senior year at New Mexico. He missed three games and had surgery.

Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said Granger's knee is about 80 percent, but the 6-foot-8 forward won't compete in contact drills until the knee is fully healthy.

"At this point, we've got to look at the big picture," Carlisle said. "You've got a guy who just turned 22, a guy who's going to be a terrific player in this league for the next decade. We can't put him in harm's way and try to rush him out there."

Granger, the 17th pick in last month's draft, said doctors told him he could play, but the Pacers chose to hold him out.

"I'm a little disappointed," he said, "but [the coaches] were telling me summer league didn't really matter. You know, I've signed and everything. I've got 82 games as a rookie."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press