Ariza's foul boots Fernandez from game
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Trail Blazers forward Rudy Fernandez was taken from the court on a stretcher with his neck in a brace Monday night after he was fouled hard by Trevor Ariza in the fourth quarter of Portland's game against Los Angeles Lakers.
Fernandez was driving to the basket when Ariza fouled him. The rookie from Spain fell hard on his elbow and his hip, and remained prone under the basket for several minutes.
Fernandez was conscious and alert when he left the court, and he had full movement of his extremities, the team said. However, he was experiencing pain in his chest and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
X-rays and a CT scan were negative, but Fernandez was expected to remain at the hospital overnight with a "soft tissue injury to his right upper chest/side area."
The foul touched off a skirmish between the teams, and the Blazers were assessed two technicals. Ariza was ejected from the game.
"I was just trying to go for the ball, trying to make a good play on the ball, and unfortunately somebody got hurt," Ariza said. "I definitely was not trying to hurt him."
The Blazers held an 83-55 lead with 2.2 seconds left in the third quarter when the foul occurred. Portland went on to win, 111-94.
"That's a dangerous play. He [Ariza] just took him out of the air," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "It was a very dangerous play."
Fernandez had just hit a 3-pointer that put the Blazers up 81-51 when he was fouled. He left with 11 points.
Fernandez, who played on the Spanish national team that won the silver medal in the Beijing Olympics, is averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 25.8 minutes with Portland this season.
While Fernandez lay on the court, fans chanted: "Rudy! Rudy!"
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press