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C.J. Watson to Miss 4th Straight Game to Injury; Ian Mahinmi Also Out With Bruised Rib

Let’s hope Donald Sloan is up, because C.J. Watson will miss his fourth straight game tonight against Boston — and may miss more time — due to an elbow injury that has been bothering him since March 2.

Scott Agness of Pacers.com has the details.

The seventh-year pro had an MRI on Monday, an off day for the team, but he didn’t say what was concluded. He’s been dealing with mostly pain for over a week now, since he injured it in the Pacers’ 94-91 home win over the Utah Jazz — a game he started for George Hill, who was sidelined with a bruised left shoulder.

“A lot of popping and clicking in my elbow since last Tuesday or Wednesday,” Watson said of his injury. “I haven’t tried to shoot yet. Just did some dribbling yesterday and stuff like that. I felt a little better.”

They’ll evaluate and test his sprained right elbow further at Thursday’s practice, and Watson is aiming to return Friday (at Philadelphia) or Saturday (in Detroit).

Watson experienced a similar injury two years ago while playing for the Chicago Bulls. In January of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, he missed nine games for what was defined as a “strained left elbow.”

Agness is also reporting the Ian Mahinmi will sit this one out to mend his bruised rib.

In a way, Mahinmi missing tonight’s game against Boston is an opportunity for the team. Because coach Frank Vogel had been wanting to give Andrew Bynum his first minutes this week, and now this development naturally opens up a hole in the rotation.

Bynum will make his debut tonight, but Agness notes that he will likely only play in “short bursts.” Perhaps that means we will see a big of David West/Luis Scola together down low, a pairing Vogel has seldom used but one that showed some success in limited run earlier in the year. This could also open up some minutes for Chris Copeland.

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Tags: C.J. Watson Ian Mahinmi Indiana Pacers

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