Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is plotting a return to action by the end of the month.
Oladipo, who has been out for a year after rupturing a tendon in his knee, told Shams Charania of The Athletic that he is targeting Jan. 29 against the Chicago Bulls as his date to return to action, while adding that it could yet change.
Pacers star Victor Oladipo tells @Stadium he plans to make season debut on Jan. 29 against Chicago and discusses emotions returning from yearlong absence after torn quad tendon in knee. Stay tuned for my full sitdown. pic.twitter.com/lmzwsKmwav
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 8, 2020
The fact that there’s a targeted return date at all will be music to the ears of Pacers fans. Oladipo had blossomed into an All-NBA player before the devastating injury cost him a year just as he was entering his physical prime. In 2017-18, his last full season before the injury, he averaged 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 steals per game.
The Pacers have held out okay without Oladipo this season, going 23-14. While it might take him some time to get back to his best, having him at all is a boost to their playoff chances. Given he’s right on schedule with previous reporting, it sounds like his rehab went well, too.
The Indiana Pacers could be getting Victor Oladipo back from his injury sooner than later.
Oladipo underwent surgery in late January to repair a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee. He has been rehabbing ever since and is getting closer to a return.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Oladipo is hoping to return to the Pacers in February or perhaps as early as late January.
Oladipo, 27, was the No. 2 overall draft pick by the Orlando Magic in 2013 and traded to the Pacers by the Thunder as part of the Paul George trade prior to the 2017-2018 season. He enjoyed a breakout year with the Pacers in his first season with them, averaging a career-high 23.1 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.4 blocks while shooting 47.7 percent from the field.
In 36 games last season, Oladipo averaged 18.8 points per game. The Pacers entered Wednesday 21-10 on the season
Victor Oladipo is now five months removed from his season-ending quad injury, but the Indiana Pacers still expect him to miss a big chunk of next season too.
Pacers president Kevin Pritchard indicted over the weekend that the All-Star guard still has a long way to go before making his return.
“He might be out a little bit,” said Pritchard, per Matthew VanTrynon of the Indianapolis Star. “I’m hopeful he’ll be back December or January.”
Oladipo, 27, was averaging 18.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game last season, when he ruptured the right quad in a nasty spill on Jan. 23. The Pacers still managed to reach 48 wins and earn the No. 5 seed in the East but felt his absence in a big way during a first-round sweep at the hands of Boston.
The season starts in October, and that December-January timetable would cost Oladipo the first 35 or so games of the year. The Pacers obviously want to make sure Oladipo is completely healthy before trotting him back out there, and the good news is that he has found other ways to be helpful while hurt.
Out for the season with a knee injury, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has tried to serve as an extra pair of eyes for the team — and it seems to be working.
Oladipo said Monday he still watches every Pacers game as he recovers from knee surgery and often texts players and coaches if he sees something he thinks could help them. In fact, Oladipo recently met with his teammates in person, and the Pacers have gone 5-0 since that meeting.
. @VicOladipo tells us he watches the games, texts players and coaches if he sees anything he wants to share. "I can see things they might not necessarily be able to see…I just instill positivity in everybody…" @pacers are 5-0 since meeting with Victor in Miami.
— Jeremiah Johnson (@JJFSINDIANA) February 11, 2019
By no means are we suggesting that Oladipo is the next great NBA coach, but he’s clearly engaged and wants to help his teammates and seems to have some worthwhile observations judging by their recent success. Considering what we know about his work ethic and determination, it’s not really a surprise.
Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo underwent successful surgery to repair the ruptured quad tendon in his right knee.
According to the Pacers, Oladipo underwent the surgery Monday, and is expected to make a full recovery. However, the team did not put any timetable on his return.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 28, 2019
Nothing in the statement is particularly surprising. The prognosis seems good for Oladipo, but the recovery time will be lengthy, and the most optimistic hope is that he may be ready somewhere around the start of next season.
Oladipo certainly has shown the right mentality to battle back from this. Hopefully his rehab goes well and he’s back on the court soon.
Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is putting his head down and trying to press onward after suffering a brutal knee injury.
Oladipo will not play again this season after rupturing his quad, a brutal blow for the star guard. He publicly talked about that injury on Saturday, admitting in an Instagram post that dealing with the injury has been extremely difficult, but stating that he intends to return “better than ever.”
View this post on Instagram
I can’t even lie the last few months have been really tough for not only me but for my family as well. You give it your all, literally your blood, sweat and tears to the game you love and things like this happen. No matter how much hard work and effort you put into perfecting your craft you cannot predict the challenges you’ll face ahead. But there is always that point in time where you wonder why it’s happening to you. You even wonder if there was something you could have done differently to prevent the outcome. The confusion, the contemplation, the anger, the sadness and the tears that flow frequently come, but they never last. The amount of support, love and prayers that I have received over the past few days have been breathtaking and has truly inspired me to come back even better than before. Thank you to everyone including all my teammates, pacer fans and staff. Thank you to all the NBA fans around the world and all my brothers around the league who texted, called, tweeted and posted me I am truly thankful. It’s going to be tough but tough times don’t last tough people do. It’s time for me to truly practice what I preach and trust my God in heaven and the plan he has for me. I will be back better than ever and if you question that well, thank you. Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world! I am #UnBreakable.
A post shared by Victor Oladipo (@vicoladipo) on
We know that Oladipo is a determined and motivated guy, so if anyone has the mental fortitude to take on such a setback, it’s probably him. Hopefully he’ll make a full recovery and return in time for next season.
The Indiana Pacers may have lost Victor Oladipo for the season.
Oladipo suffered a nasty knee injury in the second quarter of the Pacers’ game against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher. The Pacers acknowledged on Twitter that Oladipo had suffered a “serious” knee injury and said he would undergo an MRI on Thursday.
Injury update: After suffering a serious injury to his right knee, Victor Oladipo will have an MRI tomorrow and an update will be provided then.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 24, 2019
For now, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that a preliminary examination left the Pacers fearing that Oladipo will need season-ending knee surgery.
Preliminary exam has left Pacers with fear that Victor Oladipo has suffered a season-ending knee injury that will require surgery, league sources tell ESPN. He will undergo an MRI on Thursday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 24, 2019
This would be an awful blow to the Pacers. Indiana entered play on Wednesday 31-15 and third in the Eastern Conference standings. They’ve had strong play from several players like Bojan Bogdanovic, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Thaddeus Young and Darren Collison, but the true leader of the team is Oladipo.