(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - Indiana Pacers all-star forward Jermaine O'Neal will have surgery on his balky left knee next week.
O'Neal spoke at a news conference at Conseco Fieldhouse on Thursday and announced that he tore cartilage in the knee during the Pacers' game in Memphis on February 3rd.
Despite the injury, which occurred when he banged knees with another player, O'Neal played in his sixth all-star game two weeks later.
He finished the season leading the pacers in scoring and rebounding, averaging more than 19 points and almost ten boards per game. He practiced only once during the remainder of the season and required pain medication to continue playing.
O'Neal says he did not have surgery right away because of the Pacers' playoff push.
The Pacers were eliminated from playoff contention last Sunday and O'Neal sat out the final two games of the regular season.
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