Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal flew yesterday to Los Angeles to seek medical treatment for a hip injury that has sidelined him the past five games.
O'Neal's departure two games into a five-game trip is the latest setback for an injury-plagued team that has the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 8-26 and has lost seven games in a row. O'Neal had said Sunday he had hoped to return to the lineup tonight at Minnesota.
He bruised his left hip Dec. 22 when he dived for a loose ball and slid into the scorer's table during the a win over Utah. He aggravated the injury in a Dec. 26 loss at Philadelphia and hasn't played since.