Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo suffered a right knee injury during the second quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. Oladipo was racing back to defend a transition break and collapsed as he closed on Pascal Siakam.
The severity was evident almost immediately as trainers draped a towel over the leg and players from both teams surrounded Oladipo while he was down. No replays were shown on the video screen that stretches from free-throw line to free-throw line, and fans began chanting Oladipo’s name.
Concerned reactions — from the hometown fans, players on the court and those watching from afar — quickly began pouring in. The sixth-year guard eventually left the court on a stretcher, raising his arms to acknowledge the crowd. Former Pacers star Paul George, who suffered a catastrophic leg injury while training with Team USA in 2014, chimed in with a show of support.
Prayers up VO 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) January 24, 2019
The Pacers said Oladipo suffered a “serious injury to his right knee” and that an MRI is forthcoming Thursday.
Injury update: After suffering a serious injury to his right knee, Victor Oladipo will have an MRI tomorrow and an update will be provided then.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 24, 2019
Oladipo had been averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 31.9 minutes. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pacers fear the injury could be season-ending. Here’s more from Wojnarowski on the injury Oladipo suffered:
A preliminary exam has left the Indiana Pacers fearful that All-Star guard Victor Oladipo suffered a season-ending right-knee injury Wednesday night that will require surgery, league sources told ESPN.
Oladipo will undergo an MRI on Thursday in Indianapolis for a full accounting of the damage, the team said.
Pacers officials were preparing for the worst: the loss of the franchise’s most important player as the team legitimately competes with the elite of the Eastern Conference.
“‘I didn’t see what happened,” Siakam said after Wednesday’s game. “Watching the replay, he stuck his leg while he was falling. That’s when he hit me. It’s just an unfortunate situation. It’s really scary, it’s tough.”
The Pacers ended up defeating the Raptors, 110-106, behind Thaddeus Young (23 points and 15 rebounds) and Darren Collison (16 points).
Losing Oladipo would be an enormous blow to the Pacers’ playoff hopes. But after going 0-6 without Oladipo last season, the Pacers went 7-4 without their best player as he recovered from a sore right knee in November and December. And they still managed to hang on for their third straight victory Wednesday night — their first over Toronto in six tries.
“We’ve got to come together and play inspired basketball,” said Myles Turner, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds. “We can’t let this get us stuck in the mud. It’s emotional, but we have to overcome it and play.”
Each of Oladipo’s former teams, the Oklahoma City Thunder (who traded Oladipo in the 2017 deal for George) and the Orlando Magic (who drafted him No. 2 overall in 2013), expressed messages of support:
🙏 Wishing @vicoladipo the very best.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 24, 2019
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) January 24, 2019
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.