Paul George on Recovery: "I'll Be Able To Battle Through This"
In the video below, Paul George discusses his rehabilitation process and when he thinks he might be able to get back on the court.
See below for video of George's comments and transcript of selected quotes on the topic.
Q. Can you update us on what your timeline is (for recovery)?
A. That I don't know yet. I've been talking with the Pacers staff, my whole training staff, and it's really a day-to-day process right now, taking it one day at a time. We don't want to put a date on it or a time frame on it. Understanding some days are going to be good and some days are going to be bad.
Q. What do you expect the long-term impact of this injury to be, positives and negatives?
A. I expect a strong left leg long-term (laughing). It's something I think I can overcome. It's a bump in the road. But I'll be able to battle through this. It's a story I'll be able to tell, a testimony I'll have – something that will make me stronger. Going forward, I don't think it will affect me in a negative way. There's so much stuff to take from this, as far as being a part of this team, being able to be kind of a mentor to our younger guys and help them along the way. I'm really taking this in a positive way. I get to sit back and watch the game and just learn.
Q. Athletes are used to working with their bodies, so I guess the physical part of this is something you can wrap your head around pretty easily. Mentally, is that the bigger challenge, the time down, the time away from your game and do you have a plan to deal with the mental challenge of all this?
A. We have a great psychologist here (Dr. Chris Carr), who I visited with a couple of days ago. So I'll be very close to him, whether we're on the road or here, just to approach this the right way. But again, I'm not looking at this as a negative on my career. It's something I will overcome. I plan on making a full recovery from this. It will be good for me to sit back and learn. Learn this game, learn the system, learn the ways to help myself when the time is right for me to come back.
Q. Is there any chance you'll play this coming season, maybe at the end of the year? Has there been any discussion about that?
A. No, there hasn't. As far as I'm concerned, it will be a wait. I'd love to come back this year … I understand there might be a possibility that I won't be back this year. I'm very aware of that. But if I do have the opportunity to make a comeback, I look forward to it. But if not, I don't mind taking a year off to get better for the next season.
Q. Can you describe how they've rebuilt your leg and what's next for you medically?
A. I have a rod down my right leg and I have pins to keep it in place going though my knee as well as my ankle. I broke it in two places. Talking with my training staff, I know as early as next week I can start on a little rehab stuff with my knee, just keeping my tendon to where it's not out of whack. And talking with our (strength) trainer Shawn Windle, I can probably start on a few things upper body to kind of get started off.
Q. How restless are you already and how difficult is it to come to grips with the fact you might not play at all next season?
A. At this point all I can do is sleep and lay down. It's tough for me. I'm used to being active, used to having stuff to do, used to working out, used to being in the gym. I'm very aware of not being able to play this year. That's a huge possibility. At the same time, I still feel I can be part of this team and can help this team off the court.
Q. So it's safe to say this next season is a long-shot, or are you holding out some hope?
A. I'm holding out a little hope, because I want to be back. But this injury could take a year to fully recover. The last thing I want to do is feel like I'm OK and come out early and be vulnerable to injuring myself again. I want to take my time with this, but at the same time if I heal well you could see Young Trece out there.
Q. When you do come back, will this be in your head? When you're running downcourt to block a layup will this be difficult to ignore, or have you thought about that yet?
A. I haven't thought about that yet. I've never played the game with any hesitancy. That's the reason I'm probably in this cast. When I go out I play to play. I play my hardest, I give my all, I leave it all on the floor. Not one moment do I expect to get injured or feel limited on the court. Although I'm not looking at that right now I won't be hesitant when I come back.