In late January, Indiana Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo was lost for the season when he ruptured a quadriceps tendon in his right knee. While he has made progress with his injury rehabilitation, it seems unlikely he will suit up at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard told reporters on Friday that Oladipo could not be back in the lineup until the winter, writes Matthew VanTryon of the Indianapolis Star.
“He might be out a little bit,” Pritchard said of Oladipo on Friday. “I’m hopeful he’ll be back December or January.”
Roughly eight weeks after his injury and subsequent surgery, Oladipo posted videos on social media of himself walking the hallway of his doctor’s office in Miami.
After having his surgery, Oladipo faced an uncertain timetable ahead for his return to the court. The 2019 All-Star guard spoke with the media on a conference call in early February and was taking a day-by-day approach to his recovery.
“At the end of the day I’m a positive butterfly,” Oladipo said on Feb. 11. “I’m not looking too far into the future and I’m not looking at the past; just focused on today and trying to get better every day.”
In May, Pritchard said he was unsure of when Oladipo would return, telling the Indianapolis Star: “I don’t think it’s right to say, ‘Well, we know he’s going to be back. He’ll be back at this time.’ Because the truth is the body heals at a different rate for every person.”
Oladipo told the newspaper in May: “I know my body more better than ever than now going through this rehab process. It’s like relearning my body. I’ll know what to do what not to do, not to overdo it.”
He was injured during the second quarter of a Jan. 23 game vs. the Toronto Raptors as he was racing back to defend a transition break. He collapsed as he closed on the Raptors’ Pascal Siakam.
Oladipo averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 31.9 minutes per game last season. At the time of his injury, he ranked third in the NBA in clutch points with 5.1 ppg, was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 3 (Oct. 29-Nov. 4) and was an All-Star last season.
The Pacers went 16-19 after Oladipo’s injury and finished as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. Indiana was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.