Report: Caris LeVert to Make Pacers Debut Saturday After Kidney Cancer Surgery

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2021

Indiana Pacers' Caris LeVert watches from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert is set to return to the court Saturday against the Phoenix Suns after undergoing surgery to remove a small mass on his left kidney in January, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

LeVert has reportedly been "ramping up" in practices to prepare for his return, per Wojnarowski.

Indiana acquired the guard in a four-team deal in January, but his physical revealed a mass on his kidney. He underwent surgery later in the month to treat renal cell carcinoma.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported earlier in March the franchise will be "patient" with LeVert, but he is now set to come back less than two months after the initial cancer diagnosis.

The 26-year-old can make a significant impact on the court when healthy, averaging 18.5 points and 6.0 assists per game in 12 appearances with the Brooklyn Nets this season. He averaged 18.7 points and 4.4 assists during the 2019-20 campaign.

It's the type of scoring production Indiana was looking for when dealing away Victor Oladipo in the same trade.

T.J. Warren going down early in the year with a foot injury has also taken away some key offense from the perimeter.

The Pacers have fallen behind in the playoff race at 16-19 while getting limited contributions outside of Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon. Adding a third reliable scorer could help the team compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference.