All-Star forward will be sidelined after hernia surgery
ORLANDO, Fla. -- All-Star forward Grant Hill was expected to miss three to six weeks after he has surgery for a sports hernia.
Hill, the Orlando Magic's second-leading scorer last season, saw several specialists after he was pulled from the lineup Oct. 19. The club said Thursday that Dr. William Myers would operate next week in Philadelphia.
"It's better than three to six months or three to six years," Hill said.
He told reporters earlier this week that he sustained the lower abdominal injury a few weeks before training camp began Oct. 4. A sports hernia is different from a true hernia. A sports hernia is a pulled groin muscle that worsens over time and affects the abdominal wall.
"I've often sort of joked with you all that when I sneeze it's big news," he said. "I'm not equating this with a sneeze -- but it's something that, for a short period of time it bothered me."
Coach Brian Hill initially said he was benching Hill as a precautionary measure.
Last season was Grant Hill's best for the Magic. Finally healed from an ankle injury that kept him off the court most of the previous four seasons, he hit a career-best 50 percent and averaged 19.7 points -- good enough for sixth All-Star game appearance.
He averaged 11.5 points and 3 assists in the four preseason games he was able to play this year. Hill could be out until the middle of December -- more bad news for a club trying to improve on a 36-46 record that kept it out of the postseason for the second straight year.
"You have to play with the people you have," Brian Hill said this week. "We can't use injuries, whether it's injuries to Grant or anybody else, as an excuse. We still have players here that are going to play hard and play within our system and play together as a team."
Hedo Turkoglu has been starting in Grant Hill's absence. Orlando's fourth-leading scorer last season at 14 points per game, Turkoglu is averaging 10.9 in seven exhibitions.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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