Pacers GM: Victor Oladipo Won't Return from Knee Injury Until at Least December

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 23:  Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers is attended to by medical staff after being injured in the second quarter of the game against the Toronto Raptors  at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 23, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Indiana Pacers President Kevin Pritchard told reporters he expects guard Victor Oladipo to be out of the lineup until at least December as he recovers from a ruptured quad.  

“He might be out a little bit,” Pritchard said Friday. “I’m hopeful he’ll be back December or January.”

Oladipo suffered the injury in a Jan. 23 loss to the Toronto Raptors. He missed the remainder of the season and has not been given a firm timetable in his recovery.

"Obviously now things are going to be a little different," Oladipo said of his recovery process in May, per J. Michael of the Indy Star. "I know my body more better than ever than now going through this rehab process. It’s like relearning my body. I’ll know what to do what not to do, not to overdo it.”

Oladipo spent most of the 2018-19 season struggling to replicate his All-Star form when he was on the floor. He averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 assists and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 42.3 percent, often playing through injuries. 

The Pacers began their offseason roster retooling on draft day, trading for forward T.J. Warren. He'll likely replace Thaddeus Young, who is an unrestricted free agent. The team is also expected to explore new options at point guard with Darren Collison and Cory Joseph each hitting the open market.

Oladipo will undoubtedly return to a far different team than the one he left, which managed to stay afloat for a 48-34 record without him before being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. 

The Pacers could wind up playing things conservatively with Oladipo's recovery if the new-look roster gets off to a slow start. Indianapolis has never been a free-agent haven, so the best bet for getting Oladipo a co-star could be bottoming out for a year and hoping to strike lottery gold.

That's never been a tactic the Pacers have used; they have fielded at least a competitive team for the past three decades. But depending on how Oladipo's body heals, this could be a prime time to take things slow and build for the future. 

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