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PACERS' DAMPIER INJURED, WHILE SMITS STILL ON MEND

Rik Smits hasn't recovered from Sept. 8 foot surgery and Indiana Pacers coach Larry Brown isn't counting on having the 7-foot-4 center available to start the season. The Pacers open at Detroit on Nov. 1.

"I have no idea," Brown said in response to a question about when Smits would be able to play. "I was confident that he would be ready for the first game when we went to training camp."

The Pacers got more bad news Wednesday night. Erick Dampier, the team's first-round draft pick from Mississippi State, had been expected to get more playing time in Smits's absence. But following the Pacers' 93-77 exhibition loss to Atlanta, Brown said the 6-11 rookie will undergo hernia surgery today and will be out for several weeks.

Smits, who had problems with his feet much of last season, had surgery on both feet and still isn't able to practice.

In other news: Richie Adams, the Big West player of the year at UNLV who was drafted by the Washington Bullets in 1985, was charged with murder in the death of a 14-year-old Bronx girl, police said. Adams is 33.

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