Report: Pacers' Victor Oladipo Hopes to Return from Knee Injury in Late January

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

Indiana Pacers' Victor Oladipo speaks before an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers are hopeful Victor Oladipo will make his season debut sometime in late January as he continues rehabbing from a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that the plan is for Oladipo to get back on the floor by early February, but there is hope he could return earlier. Wojnarowski added he's been "ramping up" his on-court activity as of late.

"Just trying to get the feel back," Oladipo told reporters of his comeback earlier this month. "Coming out here just playing, taking it easy. Not trying to do anything spectacular. When injuries come around you try to rush things. When you rush your body, that's when things kinda go south. Just gotta be smart about it."

Oladipo suffered a ruptured quad tendon in a Jan. 23 matchup against the Toronto Raptors. He missed the remainder of the regular season and playoffs, finishing with averages of 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists. 

The Pacers retooled their roster during the offseason, adding Malcolm Brogdon as a co-lead ball-handler next to Oladipo and T.J. Warren on the wing. They're off to a 21-10 start, which has them tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference, and Oladipo's addition could be the conference's biggest midseason roster move.

The slow rehab process highlights the severity of Oladipo's injury, and he'll likely be put on a load management program. The Pacers and Oladipo will be planning to have him at 100 percent health and confidence by the time the playoffs come around.