National Basketball Association star Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat is expected to miss playing time after suffering a sprained ankle in Thursday night's home loss to the Indiana Pacers.
O'Neal landed on the foot of Pacers forward Ron Artest halfway through the fourth quarter and had to be helped off the floor. Preliminary x-rays were negative, but he is to be re-evaluated.
Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said Shaq seemed like he was in pain when he went down. The big center scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in the loss.
Veteran center Alonzo Mourning will fill in for as long as O'Neal is out. Miami has three other veterans recovering with injuries - Michael Doleac, James Posey and Shandon Anderson. Coach Van Gundy says it's part of the game and that his younger players will have to meet the challenge.