Pacers Will Be Without Victor Oladipo To Start 2019-20 NBA Season

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Pacers Will Be Without Victor Oladipo To Start 2019-20 NBA Season

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Pacers Will Be Without Victor Oladipo To Start 2019-20 NBA Season

How will the Pacers handle Victor Oladipo’s return from a season-ending knee injury here in the 2019-20 season?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLIS – Less than 4 weeks away from the season opener, the Indiana Pacers are already saying Victor Oladipo will not start the season opener.

Oladipo’s return to the court, after rupturing his quad tendon this past January isn’t expected to come for several weeks, or even a few months, into the regular season.

I know that he won’t start the season,” Nate McMillan said at the Pacers Media Day on Friday. “I don’t anticipate Victor being available (in full team drills) for a while.”

 

McMillan was scheduled to meet with team doctors later on Friday, to see what exactly Oladipo can do in the team’s first Training Camp practice on Saturday.

 

“Will (Oladipo) be able to go through the first part of practice, do some shooting, some drills?” McMillan asked himself when meeting the media on Friday. “I don’t know but I know he won’t be doing anything live for a while.

“There hasn’t been a timetable given to me. I’ve talked with our trainer, Victor, Kevin (Pritchard). I know that he won’t start the season. I haven’t had any information given to me that he will be practicing live anytime soon. I don’t anticipate Victor being available for a while, and I really don’t know what a while is. Really, there’s no timetable. I’m happy that he’s here at Training Camp. He will be in practice tomorrow, getting ready for his team.”

On Friday, Oladipo didn’t get into any specific details on what he’s able to do on-court right now, and what physical hurdles remain in his rehab. Although he did mention his shooting form has received ‘a lot of attention’ this offseason.

Oladipo said on Friday that his injury situation will not allow for him to travel to India with the Pacers, when they take on the Kings in two preseason games next Friday and Saturday, before returning to the states for the rest of camp.

Many of Oladipo’s comments on Friday centered around how he’s focused on his mind during this intensive rehab process.

“Rehabbing pretty much speaks for itself,” the 27-year-old guard said. “It’s pretty strategic, the things I have to do, the necessary steps I have to make.

“But the mind is another muscle that you need to work on with this process. So, for me, that’s what I’m focusing on, building my mind to be in game shape. And to be able to withstand certain things that I might not be able to work when I’m playing the game and that stuff. I’m just focusing on my mindset because that has a lot of help in my healing process and a lot of help in my overall, daily process.”

With the Pacers not wanting to put any date on the calendar for Oladipo’s return, they will rely heavily on their star guard’s input when it comes time to making that decision.

This offseason Pacers head coach Nate McMillan visited Oladipo in Miami on a couple of occasions.

“He’s moving, not doing anything live,” McMillan says. “He’s doing some sprinting, a lot of shooting, a lot of 1-2 dribble moves and really just rehabbing to strengthen both legs.

“When will he be back? I have no idea when that may happen. We are going to make sure he’s comfortable, ready to go before we put him out on the floor.”

Earlier this month, Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan echoed what McMillan shared on Friday.

“We are not going to rush him back,” Buchanan said. “We are prepared to kind of have 3 seasons: no Victor, with Victor and he’s getting acclimated, then the third season is hopefully everyone is adjusted and we take off from there (likely in March/April).”

Per usual, Oladipo reminded everyone on Friday of his positivity throughout this process and constant belief in his work ethic and talent.

“You guys have seen more for the last couple of years. I’m a positive butterfly,” the Indiana University product said. “I thrive off positivity and I kind of preach it. I’m real big on my faith and my belief in God. At the end of the day, how can I say that and act that way every day and then when I’m at my lowest point, I shy away from that. I wouldn’t be practicing what I preach. So, at the end of the day, let’s be real. I am human. It hasn’t been easy. There have been tough days. There have been days that have been tougher than others. But, for the most, part, I’ve survived every single one of them.

“When I say I’m coming back better than ever, I’m not just saying that because it sounds good. I truly believe that. It’s because of the God I serve.”


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