INDIANAPOLIS, March 16 (UPI) -- The Indiana Pacers have said they do not expect injured player Jermaine O'Neal to return this season, the Indianapolis Star reported Wednesday.
"We have to go on the idea that he's not going to be here," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "That's how we have to approach it. We can't be hanging our hopes on his return. It's going to be awhile if he comes back at all."
O'Neal injured his right shoulder March 3, and he has since visited several doctors for opinions. It was not yet known Wednesday if surgery would be required, but the possibility would keep O'Neal off the court for several months.
"The doctors are waiting to see if that's the right way to go or not," Carlisle said.
The Pacers have also said they don't expect forward Jonathan Bender -- who sat out several games this season due to a knee problem -- to return this season.