Groin strain, hip flexor bench O'Neal

Updated: January 5, 2010, 9:46 AM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Heat center Jermaine O'Neal is out of the lineup against the Atlanta Hawks with a strained groin and hip flexor.

It's the fourth time O'Neal has missed a game this season, although two of those were to attend a family funeral. Joel Anthony started Monday night in place of O'Neal, who has been bothered by soreness in the groin and hip for about two weeks.

O'Neal is Miami's third-leading scorer at 12.7 points per game and second-leading rebounder at 6.9 per game.

The Heat are hopeful O'Neal could return Wednesday when Miami hosts Boston.


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