Back Issues Force Pacers Center Jeff Foster To Retire

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 23: Jeff Foster #10 of the Indiana Pacers and Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls battle for position on a free-throw in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Conseco Fieldhouse on April 23, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Bulls 89-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Indiana Pacers center Jeff Foster unexpectedly announced his retirement from the NBA today after struggling to return to action this season due to chronic back problems.

"It's with deep regret that I have to conclude my basketball career," said Foster. "I've given my all to the Pacers and the community the last 13 years. I had hoped to be able to finish the season, but unfortunately my back problems prevented that from occurring. I want to thank the Simon family and the Pacers' organization for 13 memorable years."

Frank Vogel dodged a question about an update on Foster's status last night prior to the game and now we know why. The Pacers have adjusted pretty well to playing without Foster but the team was hopeful he could help once the playoffs rolled around. Now the Pacers' front court depth turns to Jeff Pendergraph as the emergency big off the bench. He hasn't had much non-garbage time run but I know some in the organization are confident Pendergraph is ready to help if needed.

As it is now, Foster's last great memories on the floor will be of him locking horns with the Bulls' bigs in the playoffs last season and driving them crazy. The feisty one will be missed.

Good luck, Jeff!

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