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Pacers' Domantas Sabonis Returning to NBA Bubble Amid Foot Injury Recovery

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) brings the ball up court in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis is scheduled to return to the Orlando bubble Saturday and will rejoin the team after quarantine, head coach Nate McMillan said Saturday, via Fox Sports Indiana (h/t Scott Agness). 

Players are required to spend four days in quarantine after arriving to the bubble before being cleared to play, assuming they test negative for the coronavirus.

As Marc Stein of the New York Times noted, the Pacers would have to extend their series in order for Sabonis to see game action. The Miami Heat currently lead 2-0 in the first-round matchup entering Saturday's game.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported "there's no expectation he'll rejoin active roster" once he is cleared as he continues rehabbing from his plantar fasciitis.

The 24-year-old originally left the bubble in late July to deal with the injury.

Indiana has struggled without its lone All-Star, scoring 100 and 101 points in the first two playoff games after averaging 109.4 points per game during the regular season.

Sabonis was the Pacers' second-leading scorer during the season with 18.5 points per game while also ranking second with 5.0 assists per game. His 12.4 rebounds per game were not only the most on the team, he was the only player besides Myles Turner (6.6 RPG) averaging more than five rebounds per game.

Indiana has been forced to go with smaller lineups with the 6'8" Warren playing significant minutes in the post.

Bringing Sabonis back into the lineup could make a significant difference in the series, but it seems like a long shot that he would be able to contribute.

The earliest the forward could play is Game 5, but the injury and lack of time with the team could prevent any real impact.