Ian Mahinmi Injury: Updates on Pacers C's Back and Return

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 12: Ian Mahinmi #28 of the Indiana Pacers shoots a free throw during the game against the New York Knicks on April 12, 2016 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Indiana Pacers dropped Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors on April 18, and Ian Mahinmi suffered a back injury in the process. However, he's ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Mahinmi Active vs. Raptors

Thursday, April 21

Indiana head coach Frank Vogel said Mahinmi will start against Toronto in Game 3 on Thursday.

Mahinmi Provides Valuable Interior Presence at Both Ends

Mahinmi played 22 minutes, scoring five points and grabbing five rebounds, before exiting Game 2. He was also 0-of-6 from the field.

Mahinmi averaged 9.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game this season, which were all career highs. His 25.6 minutes per game also set a career-high mark as he helped fill the void down low for the Pacers after they traded Roy Hibbert to the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason.

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com listed Mahinmi as the third-most-improved player in the league this season, which underscored his importance on a squad that also features Paul George: “Mahinmi doubled his career assist total, nearly doubled his scoring average and obliterated almost every past statistical markerall while maintaining his smothered chicken presence around the rim on defense. He became a different player.”

According to NBA.com, the Pacers big man held opponents to 4.7 percent worse shooting than their normal averages when they were within six feet of the basket.

Getting Mahinmi back should go a long way toward slowing down Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas.


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