Ike Diogu, a promising young forward who played a pivotal role in the Pacers' 3-0 start, will miss four-to-six weeks with a torn calf muscle, the team announced today. The injury occurred during Tuesday's practice.
"I really feel terrible for Ike," said Coach Jim O'Brien after this morning's shootaround. "The good thing is we have some depth up front that should be able to step up. But Ike was coming rapidly and really playing a good brand of basketball."
Troy Murphy, who missed the final four preseason games and the first three of the regular season with a strained calf muscle, is expected to return for tonight's game against the undefeated Los Angeles Clippers in Conseco Fieldhouse. Shawne Williams also will return from a three-game team suspension.
Diogu started on opening night in place of the injured Jermaine O'Neal and in three appearances this season has averaged 23.3 minutes, 13.7 points and 4.3 rebounds, making 16-of-28 shots from the field (57.1 percent).
"It happens. Injuries are part of the game," Diogu said. "It's an unfortunate time because I was starting to do the things people expect me to do on the floor. I've just got to wait it out, come back and get back to doing the same things."
Diogu said the injury happened when he went up for a shot.
"It was like somebody threw a rock at the back of my leg," he said, "so I knew it was going to be something pretty serious."