Heat Coach Pat Riley Taking Indefinite Leave of Absence


MIAMI (AP) - Miami Heat coach Pat Riley is taking an indefinite leave of absence because of ongoing hip and knee problems.

The 61-year-old coach disclosed his plans Wednesday and was to announce his decision at a news conference. It was not immediately clear who would be promoted to interim head coach.

The Heat were to play the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Riley is in his 12th season with the Heat, who won the NBA title last June. They're off to a 13-17 start and have been without center Shaquille O'Neal most of the season because of a knee injury.

Riley returned to the bench in December 2005, replacing Stan Van Gundy and postponing a scheduled surgery for hip replacement. In September, Riley said he didn't expect to need the operation this season.

His condition apparently worsened in recent weeks. He often walks with a limp and has been on medication for the hip.