INDIANAPOLIS -- Jermaine O'Neal was scratched from the
Indiana Pacers lineup before a 99-92 victory over the Utah Jazz on
Thursday night, the second straight preseason game he has missed
because of a bruise to his right thigh.
O'Neal, who was celebrating his 27th birthday, played in only 44
games last season becauese of injuries to his shoulder and foot and
a 15-game suspension by the NBA for his part in the brawl with
Detroit fans last November.
He bruised his thigh during practice last week, although the
injury is not considered serious.
"If it were the regular season, he'd probably play," Pacers
spokesman David Benner said.
Indiana also did not play Jeff Foster, out with a sore left
Achilles tendon; David Harrison, with an abdominal strain; and
Fred Jones, with a hyperextended right knee.
Utah, also playing its second preseason game, held out Carlos
Boozer (hamstring) and Matt Harpring (knee) as a precaution.
During the game, Indiana's Austin Croshere strained his groin in
the second quarter but returned midway through the third period and
finished with 17 points, while Jamaal Tinsley strained his lower
back and Scot Pollard strained his left calf in the third quarter
and did not return.