SACRAMENTO, CALIF. Greg Ostertag didn't get hurt during his first practice as a member of the Sacramento Kings.
The 7-footer from Kansas University, suffered a freak injury after practice Saturday. He tripped in his new California home, putting his right hand down for support and breaking the third metacarpal bone in his right hand.
The 31-year-old veteran, who played the last nine seasons with Utah's Jazz, went to an area hospital emergency room Saturday night after talking to Kings' trainer Pete Youngman.
Ostertag was examined by team physician Dr. Richard Marder on Sunday, X-rayed at UC Davis and then had a cast placed on his hand.
Kings coach Rick Adelman received a call from Youngman on Sunday morning.
"I knew it wasn't good news because Pete never calls early in the morning unless there is something wrong," Adelman told the Sacramento Bee. "(Ostertag) is supposed to be out anywhere from four to six weeks. It was just a freakish thing."
Actually, it would be freakish if it occurred to a player on pretty much any other team. However, these are the Kings, who, for the life of them, seemingly cannot find a way to stay healthy.
"I was walking into practice," Kings power forward Chris Webber said, "and (Ostertag) showed me his hand. He just looked at me and laughed. It doesn't surprise me. I just said, 'Welcome to the Kings Show!'''
During the past five seasons with the Utah Jazz, Ostertag, 31, never missed more than eight games in one season, and sat out only one in three of those seasons.
Last season, Ostertag missed only two games because of injury. \He missed one more because of a league suspension and another as a result of a coach's decision.
Adelman said he hopes Ostertag will be ready to start the season with the team.
At least Ostertag hasn't lost his sense of humor.
When asked by Sacramento's News Ten if he and fellow hunting and fishing fanatic Brad Miller were "cut from the same cloth," Ostertag shot the TV reporter a quick glance, smiled and blurted, "You want to get shot?"