Pacers F Granger out at least 4 weeks

BY foxsports • December 12, 2009

The Indiana Pacers, who have dropped nine of their last 10 games, have lost scoring leader Danny Granger for at least four weeks with a foot injury.

The team said Tuesday that Granger would miss a minimum of four to six weeks with a torn right plantar fascia, the tissue across the bottom of the foot connecting the heel and toes. The Pacers say the forward won't need surgery and is starting rehabilitation.

Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said Granger, who averages 24.4 points per game, had been playing with a bad heel for about six weeks.

``We're losing an All-Star player,'' O'Brien said in a telephone interview. ``It's a big loss. How we deal with it remains to be seen.''

Granger missed a month last season with a torn tendon in the same foot, but still played enough to be named the NBA's most improved player. He left the floor in the third quarter of Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He did not immediately return a phone message Tuesday.

Several Pacers will have to fill in Granger's minutes. Dahntay Jones averages 15.3 points per game. Luther Head and Brandon Rush likely will see more playing time in Granger's place, starting with Wednesday night's home game against Portland.

Mike Dunleavy also plays the wing position, but he just returned from a right knee injury on Nov. 28, so he's limited to 20 minutes per game for now.

Troy Murphy, Jeff Foster, Travis Diener and Tyler Hansbrough also have missed time this season with injuries.

``Any rash of injuries challenges you,'' O'Brien said. ``I try to stay away from the word frustrated. We have games to play. We have guys who are professional players who have talent and are expected to step in and help us win.''

The Pacers, whose losing skid followed a five-game winning streak, are trying to remain positive.

We've been struggling, but there's parts of every game where we play at the level we need,'' the coach said. ``We just need consistency.''

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