It’s quite easy to question someone’s resolve during their time of weakness. It’s also much more difficult to throw an entire franchise’s belief behind someone who is expected to miss (at least) one full season due to injury.
Especially in a sport such as basketball, when the difference between a “great” player and an “OK” can likely be predicated on one injury.
But neither of those circumstances seem to bother the Indiana Pacers, who believe that Paul George will make a full recovery after suffering from a compound fracture in his right leg a week and a half ago. Though, they know that they won’t receive any affirmation in their beliefs until after next season (perhaps a little longer after that) — when George fully recovers from his injury and is able to return.
Vogel said doctors told the team the injury did not involve ligaments, tendons, joints or nerves, some rare good news in what has become a stressful offseason for the Pacers.
“It’s bad enough for the franchise, but I feel so bad for Paul because I know how hard he works, how much it meant to him to play for his country,” said Bird, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations. “All he cared about was trying to get better.”
Vogel also added that the team wouldn’t “rush” George’s recovery process: “If he can play and he’s healthy to play, he’ll play. If our doctors think he’ll play at 60 to 70 percent, we wouldn’t do that.”
George’s doctors have not ruled out a late-season return though, with the Pacers intent on waiting until he’s 100 percent to bring him back, a more likely recovery time could fall closer to the original 12-month timetable.