SEATTLE (AP) -Jermaine O'Neal was back in the Indiana Pacers' starting lineup on Friday night after missing the previous five games because of a knee injury,
Coach Jim O'Brien decided to put O'Neal in the starting lineup instead of bringing him off the bench, and intended on playing him in spurts of about 6 minutes.
O'Neal had offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee that hobbled him during the final two months of last season.
He hurt the knee again on Oct. 8 during a practice, and later hyperextended it. He missed the Pacers' previous five games, in which Indiana went 4-1.
O'Neal is averaging 13.2 points and 7.1 rebounds.
The Pacers were without reserve guard Marquis Daniels, sidelined by a left knee injury. Daniels played just 5 minutes Wednesday night in the Pacers' win in Portland.
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