HOUSTON, JAN. 4 -- Houston Rockets center Akeem Olajuwon will be sidelined at least a month after suffering a fracture behind his right eye in a collision during Thursday night's game against the Chicago Bulls.
General Manager Steve Patterson said today that Olajuwon has a "blowout fracture of the floor and the medial wall of the right orbit, which houses the eyeball" as a result of an inadvertent elbow jab by Chicago's Bill Cartwright late in the third quarter of Houston's win at home.
Team physician Charles Baker said no surgery is anticipated. He said Olajuwon needs complete rest for the fracture to heal.
Ophthalmologist Robert B. Gillett, who was among a team of physicians examining Olajuwon this morning, found no permanent damage to the right eye. He said Olajuwon did not suffer any vision impairment.
Olajuwon was released from Park Plaza Hospital early today.
He was knocked unconscious and suffered a bruised cheek, a black eye and a bloody nose when he collided with Cartwright as the two went for a rebound.
Olajuwon was knocked to the floor under the Rockets' basket, but referees failed to notice and play continued to the Bulls' end.
As the play returned to the Rockets' end, Cartwright tripped over Olajuwon, who was still lying on the court. Olajuwon then managed to pull himself off the court before again losing consciousness and being taken off on a stretcher.