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Does Hill's Concussion Put His Season in Jeopardy?

by Mark Montieth | askmontieth@gmail.com

May 17, 2013, 2:03 AM

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George Hill is officially listed as “day to day” by the Pacers, but the likelihood of him not playing again this season can not be ignored.

Hill, who suffered a concussion in the Pacers' victory over New York at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday, participated in the team's morning practice session on Thursday, but complained of a headache and was given medication for it. He took the NBA's required concussion test in the afternoon, and was declared out of the game at about 4 p.m.

The league has a structured concussion policy – instituted before the start of the 2011-12 season – that requires players to complete a regimen of tests before returning to game action. They include riding a stationary bike, jogging, agility drills and non-contact team drills. A league neurologist must approve the player's return after proof of the absence of symptoms.

According to the league's mandate: “The process will likely take at least several days, if not weeks.”

Hill reportedly watched the Pacers' loss to the Knicks in Game 5 of their playoff series on Thursday from a darkened room next to the Pacers' locker room. He was seen afterward sitting on a training table and talking with members of the training staff.

Hill's absence would be a serious blow to the Pacers, who take a 3-2 series lead into Saturday's game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He was replaced by backup point guard D.J. Augustin on Thursday. Augustin finished with 12 points in just under 39 minutes, but hit just 3-of-9 shots and had no assists and two turnovers.

Most of the players quoted the “next man up” philosophy when asked about the impact of Hill's absence in the postgame locker room, and refused to use it as an excuse.

“I think we have plenty to beat the Knicks with or without George Hill,” coach Frank Vogel said afterward. “The guys in uniform have to play better.”

Hill averaged 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists through the first four games of the series.

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