O'Neal's knee 'feels pretty good'

Updated: May 29, 2004, 7:23 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers starters Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley are expected to play in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals despite nagging injuries.

Jermaine O'Neal

Tinsley left practice early on Saturday to have an MRI on his injured left leg, which has hamstring, knee and ankle problems.

O'Neal practiced with a brace on his sprained left knee, but said he fully intended to play against Detroit in Game 5 on Sunday in Indianapolis.

O'Neal sprained his left knee in the first quarter of Game 4 when he landed awkwardly after jumping for a rebound with Detroit's Ben Wallace.

"It feels pretty good," said O'Neal, who has had treatment and medication to help keep the swelling down. "It's not even an issue."

Tinsley seems to be a bigger question mark, though Carlisle said, "I don't anticipate him not being able to start."

Tinsley has been slowed by his left leg nearly all series. He sat out the fourth quarter of Game 4 and said afterward that his "left leg is gone," but he planned to play in Game 5.

The Pacers tied the best-of-seven series 2-2 with a convincing 83-68 win in Detroit on Friday.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press