Indiana Pacers backup big man Jeff Foster has been dealing with lower back issues for much of the season. After returning to action, Frank Vogel, and more precisely the training staff, declared that Foster would avoid playing back-to-back games in an attempt to minimize the strain on the big fella.
But, as Mike Wells reports, Foster sat out last night's win in New Orleans after straining his back in practice hurts the Pacers depth at a time when they really need it.
Foster's latest setback comes at a bad time for the Pacers. They start a stretch of nine straight games against teams with at least .500 records Monday at Chicago.
"It's something we have to keep an eye on all year, but for right now, it's a day-to-day thing," Vogel said. "We'll see where he's at (today) and the next day."
Since he is day-to-day, Foster may still be an option in the next two games against Chicago or Atlanta. In fact, maybe the strain was exaggerated a bit as a courtesy to New Orleans. Instead of blatantly saying they didn't need Foster to beat the Hornets, they just keep him in street clothes. Maybe.
More likely, the back is an issue and the Pacers, who signed Foster primarily for his presence in the playoffs, may find out over the next two weeks just how much they need Foster to bolster their front court depth in the playoffs. At least if the concern is real, the Pacers have until the trade deadline on March 15th to add a big to the mix.