PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal called sitting out the season with a bruised left knee a ``worst-case scenario'' and refused to put a timetable on his return.
``I don't know when I'm coming back,'' O'Neal said before Monday's game against Philadelphia.
The Pacers said Saturday that O'Neal would miss at least two weeks. And O'Neal acknowledged before the game that he might have rushed back too soon from offseason knee surgery.
``Missing the season is a worst-case scenario,'' O'Neal said Monday.
But he told The Indianapolis Star for Monday's edition that he was willing to sit out the rest of the season, calling it the ``prime option for me.''
O'Neal planned to visit specialists in New York or Los Angeles for additional evaluation.
Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said he expected O'Neal to return and help Indiana chase the final East playoff spot. Indiana (18-23) began Monday a half-game behind New Jersey (18-22) for eighth in the Eastern Conference standings.
``Our medical people think it's a minimum of two weeks,'' O'Brien said. ``They fully expect him to play this year.''
A six-time All-Star, O'Neal is averaging 15.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks this season, but he has missed eight games and barely practiced the last two or three weeks. Over the past 3 1/2 seasons, O'Neal has missed 90 games due to injuries, illnesses and suspensions.
``I've played at a very average level because of the pain, because of the swelling,'' O'Neal said.
He said he was surprised he has not fully recovered from last April's knee surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage.
O'Neal even apologized to the Pacers for stepping away from basketball to recover.
``I'm not helping the team at the level I'm used to helping,'' he said.

Recent NBA Discussions

Carolina Wise Guy NBA Picks 10/25 on Tue, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
Best Bets - East on Tue, Oct 2016 by Blade
Best Bets - West on Tue, Oct 2016 by Blade
NBA Trends Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 on Tue, Oct 2016 by Blade

Top NBA Public Bets


NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Cleveland ready to rock anew vs. New York The Cavaliers are ready to revel in their first NBA title in 52 years. But will the new-look Knicks spoil the celebration in...
Thumbnail NBA 2016-17 MVP Odds Will Stephen Curry make a run at a third straight NBA MVP honor, or will someone else push him for the crown? Get a...
Thumbnail Lottery pick to begin pro career as reserve The Lakers stumbled to a 17-65 finish in 2015-16. Yet that doesn’t mean they’re willing to just hand over the keys to the No. 2 overall pick in June’s NBA draft.
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages