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Granger's Immediate Status Uncertain

by Mark Montieth |

October 23, 2013

This much, we know: Danny Granger won't play in Friday's final preseason game in Dallas, and he won't start in Tuesday's regular season opener at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Beyond that, his immediate future with the Pacers remains clouded. Nobody, however, is forecasting another long stretch of inactivity for the former All-Star forward.

Granger is still nursing the calf strain that kept him out of Tuesday's preseason victory in Atlanta, which removes any doubt over coach Frank Vogel's decision who to start. Lance Stephenson will resume his place in the lineup that finished last season. Granger, if he plays at all, will come off the bench on Tuesday.

“There's a chance he can play opening night, but it's probably unlikely,” Vogel said of Granger following practice on Thursday.

That doesn't mean Granger will never start this season. Vogel had said previously that Granger would get the call if he is healthy and playing at his former level. So, if Granger can get back to that status, the possibility remains. The possibility also remains that both Granger and Stephenson will start at various points throughout the season. In other words, the situation will play itself out.

“If Danny is healthy and playing great and Lance is healthy and playing great, we'll probably see stretches during the season where Lance is starting and we'll see stretches where Danny is starting,” Vogel said. “Just to see how the different combinations throughout the game play out.”

It appears that Granger's left knee, which was surgically repaired on April 4, won't be the determining factor. Granger said Thursday that the knee has held up “really well” throughout the preseason.

“It was to the point I was telling (the training staff), let me do more,” he said. “We were going three days on, one day off. They were pulling me back, but I was still doing everything, going through a 2 ½ hour, three-hour practice. I was thrilled.”

The calf strain, which Vogel said was worse than originally thought, but Granger says is improving, has the added impact of delaying the process of strengthening the left knee.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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