Pacers' Chris Copeland stabbed in abdomen, elbow outside NYC club

0:54 | NBA
Pacers forward Chris Copeland stabbed outside NYC nightclub
Wednesday April 8th, 2015

Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland was stabbed in the abdomen and a female companion was slashed after an argument outside of a New York City nightclub early Wednesday morning, reports the New York Daily News.

Copeland’s attacker and two players for the Atlanta Hawks, forwards Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic, were arrested after the incident.

The team said that Copeland also suffered a knife wound to the elbow and later had surgery on his elbow and abdomen. As of Wednesday evening, Copeland was in the ICU following the surgery because the knife punctured his diaphragm, reports The Indianapolis Star.

“We are aware that Chris Copeland was injured early this morning in New York City. We are still gathering information and will update when we know more. Our thoughts are with Chris and those injured," Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement before Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks.

Sefolosha and Antic were charged with obstructing governmental administration after trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene, according to the report. Both later issued a joint statement saying they would contest the charges. Neither will play in the Hawks' game Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets.

Sefolosha was later seen limping as he left a New York police precinct.

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"The events of this morning involving Pero and Thabo were unfortunate as we never want to see our players put themselves in a potentially negative situation," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said in a statement. "We will continue to look into the facts of the incident but with the information and foundation that we currently have established, we will support them through this process. Otherwise it is a continuing legal matter and I will have no further comment."

The report states a second woman was stabbed during the incident, which took place around 4 a.m. ET at 1 OAK club, located in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood.

A 22-year-old man, identified as Shezoy Bleary, allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Copeland. Copeland's friend Katrine Saltara was cut on the arm and leg, according to the report. Copeland and Saltara were taken to Bellevue Hospital and were listed in stable condition.

Copeland, 31, played 56 games with the Knicks during 2012-2013 season and signed a two-year, $6.1 million deal with Indiana that offseason. He is averaging 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 50 games this season for the Pacers.

Sefolosha, 30, has appeared in 52 games in his first season with the Hawks, averaging 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Antic, 32, has appeared in 60 games in his second season with the Hawks, averaging 5.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

- Scooby Axson and Mike Fiammetta

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