Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is choosing to sit out the 2019-20 season restart in Orlando. He revealed the news in an interview with The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Oladipo, who returned from a ruptured quadriceps tendon injury earlier this season, says he wants to continue focusing on his rehab.
“I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me,” Oladipo told Charania.
The two-time All-Star played in 13 games before the coronavirus forced a stoppage in play on March 11. He was working his way into shape after returning from injury and even scored a season-high 27 points on the eve of the season’s suspension.
Still, Oladipo was not at 100% and believes opting out of the season restart will give him more time to get there, as well prevent the risk of injuring any soft tissues around his quad tendon.
“We totally respect and understand Victor’s decision,” said President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard in a team statement. “The first priority for our players is, and always will be, their health, whether that be physical or mental.
“This is not a unique situation for our team, playing without key players,” he continued. “We remain excited about what they can accomplish in Orlando.”
Oladipo still plans to travel to Orlando next week with the rest of his team.
The Pacers will enter the restart as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, with their first seeding game coming against the No. 6 seed Philadelphia 76ers on Aug. 1.