NBA

Indy to re-evaluate Granger next week

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

Pacers forward Danny Granger could miss another week with a sore left knee.

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Granger missed the first 54 games with the same injury and sat out the second half of Sunday night's victory over Chicago after aggravating the injury.

''We're looking at it as being precautionary, understanding it's still a long season, there's still a lot of time left,'' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said before Indiana hosted the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. ''We want him to get back to 100 percent and this is the best way to do it. (He) did not push through when there's above average soreness.

''We're looking at it as it's hopefully going to be a short term thing.''

The team issued a statement saying an MRI done on Granger's knee showed no new damage to the knee. The team says he will be re-evaluated next week. Vogel thought Granger had the MRI on Monday and said he would have been available in a playoff situation.

Granger has led the Pacers in scoring each of the last five seasons. The team did not make a move before the February trade deadline in hopes Granger would give them another outside shooting presence. Vogel explained that Granger hasn't felt pain while playing, just soreness afterward or during the halftime break.

''We all wanted him to come back and within a week be playing 38 minutes and be pain free,'' Vogel said. ''That was the best case scenario. This isn't anywhere near the worst case scenario. It's just part of the process.

''Not as smoothly as we would have hoped, but we're still very confident that he's going to give us a big lift down the stretch.''

Guard Lance Stephenson moves back into the starting lineup with Granger out. He has 52 starts this season and averaged 8.5 points while shooting 47.0 percent from the field.

''We got guys that haven't been in the rotation that are itching for minutes,'' Vogel said. ''We just hit the rewind button to a couple weeks ago when Orlando (Johnson) was getting more minutes and Lance (Stephenson) was getting more minutes and Sam Young and or Gerald Green. Tonight we'll go with Sam.''

The Pacers (38-22) lead the Central Division and are No. 2 in the Eastern Conference.

Tagged: Pacers, Danny Granger, Lance Stephenson

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