|Riley doesn't expect to have Shaq back until sometime next week|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 08 January 2008 08:50|
Coach Pat Riley said after Tuesday morning's shootaround that O'Neal is still in Los Angeles, but they are encouraged by the treatment there and ``hope he'll be back by next week.''
O'Neal bruised his left hip on Dec. 22 against Utah while diving for a loose ball and crashing into the scorer's table. The injury flared up on Dec. 26 against Philadelphia.
Miami has lost seven in a row to fall to 8-26, the worst record in the Eastern Conference, heading into Tuesday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
While injuries have resulted in the worst statistical season of O'Neal's 16-year career - 14 points and 7.8 rebounds per game - the Heat sorely miss his presence in the paint on both ends of the court.
The once-proud defensive team hasn't given up fewer than 94 points in a game since Dec. 17, and opponents have shot better than 50 percent in four of the past 10 games.