Rockets C Akeem Olajuwon had surgery yesterday in Houston to repair damage to the area of his right eye. "There were no surprises, and with proper healing everything should go as planned," said Robert Wilkins, who operated.

Olajuwon, an all-star starter the past four years, should join team workouts in eight weeks, the Rockets said. He was injured Jan. 3, elbowed accidentally by Chicago's Bill Cartwright.

Surgeons inserted a 2x1-inch Teflon shield to help repair the damaged bone structure around Olajuwon's eye. "Tissue had herniated into the sinus and we removed it with no problem," Wilkins said.

Expected to leave the hospital by today, Olajuwon "can begin some sort of exercise in roughly four weeks and in eight weeks be able to play basketball," Houston GM Steve Patterson said. Patterson said Olajuwon will wear protective goggles when he returns.


The Philadelphia 76ers will be without F Charles Barkley for at least a week as he recovers from an ankle injury suffered Friday night in Milwaukee.

Barkley, who missed a game Saturday, is expected to miss at least three more. His earliest reasonable return would be next Wednesday against Indiana.

After a bone scan Monday, it was determined that Barkley probably suffered an evulsion fracture -- a condition in which a ligament pulls or plucks off a fragment of bone -- in his left ankle.


Sacramento put its top scorer, F Wayman Tisdale, on the injured list and signed former Pacers F Anthony Frederick to a 10-day contract out of the CBA. Tisdale tore a tendon in his right foot and will miss at least four weeks.


Spurs F Terry Cummings, out four games already with lower back pain and a groin pull, is not expected to play tonight at Utah. "He'll play whenever he tells us he is ready," the club said.


Earl Cureton is back with the Hornets on a 10-day contract, replacing F Kenny Gattison (strained knee). The well-traveled Cureton was one of two players to appear in all 82 games in Charlotte's inaugural 1988-89 season, starting at center 35 times. He was the Knicks' final cut this preseason.