MIAMI (AP) -Shaquille O'Neal had diagnostic tests performed on his ailing left hip Tuesday, and the Miami Heat were bracing to have their center sidelined again for possibly an indefinite period.
The team did not immediately release the MRI exam results. Heat coach Pat Riley said he still was gathering information but did not expect O'Neal to play Thursday when the Heat - losers of 14 straight games - host the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
Asked if O'Neal could be sidelined longer, Riley responded, ``I don't know.''
O'Neal was not available to reporters Tuesday.
He aggravated the hip injury while diving for a loose ball against Utah on Dec. 22 - the last game Miami won. He missed eight games from Dec. 28 through Jan. 11, returning when the Heat started their current seven-game homestand Jan. 16.
O'Neal left Monday's game against Cleveland in the first quarter to have the hip re-taped, then returned to the game with a noticeable limp. He finished with 10 points, none after halftime.
He's averaging a career-low 14.2 points this season, and his string of 14 straight All-Star Game selections - which matches a league record - could be in jeopardy.
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