Victor Oladipo has no timetable for his recovery and return to playing basketball again. For now his life consists of rehab, reading, and watching the Pacers try to thrive without him.
Oladipo, who suffered a ruptured quad tendon in his right leg on Jan. 23, spoke with media members via a 20-minute conference call Monday morning from Miami, where he has undergone surgery and begun his rehabilitation process.
He is walking on crutches now and engaging in exercises to repair his right leg, which was injured in the second quarter of the Pacers' game with Toronto on Jan. 23 when he attempted to intercept a floor-length pass. He has not been given a prediction for a return to full-scale workouts or playing in a game, but remains optimistic about coming back as strong as before his injury.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time," he said. "At the end of the day I'm a positive butterfly. 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."
Oladipo touched on a variety of subjects in the conversation:
On what he remembers about his injury:
"I originally felt like somebody pushed me. When I went down I could tell something was wrong. I pulled my kneepad away so I could see what was wrong. I don't think I was in shock, just disappointment. I knew I couldn't walk, so I was just waiting.
"Luckily my mother was there. Even though it was a tough moment for me, one of the strongest people in this world was there. She was able to help me get through this tough time."
On his communication with the team:
"If I see something I might text some of the players or text coach. For the most part I'm just watching from afar. They've been nothing short of amazing. They just have to keep getting better, man. The team is very capable of doing special things even without me I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do and where they can go."
On his earlier meeting with the players when the team was in Miami on Feb. 1.
"I just let them know I'm good. I felt bad because I didn't want my season to end like this. At times it felt like I was letting them down a little bit, but to be able to see them and talk to them, it was good for me just to be able to tell them we're right where we want to be. Just a reminder that we're at our best when nobody believes in us. I just reminded them how good they are. Everybody was overreacting, but they didn't need to. Now they're good. They're capable of doing special things even though I'm not there.
"I instill positivity in everybody. God blessed me with the ability to do that. Whenever they need me I'm here but they're more than capable of getting the job done."
On the addition of Wesley Matthews Jr. to the team to fill the gap resulting from his injury:
"I know Wesley pretty well and I think he's really going to help them out. I think he's perfect for our team."
On whether his injury was related to the knee soreness that kept him out of 11 games in November and December:
"Who knows? I can sit here and say it's related, but I really wouldn't know. I can sit here and say it's not related, but I really wouldn't know. I 'm sure it might be connected in some way, but who can tell?
"Who knows, really? I'm not toto focused on the past. All I'm really worried about is today and today I have rehab at 4:30."
On whether the injury will alter his approach to offseason workouts in the future:
"Obviously things are going to be a little different. I know my body better than ever now. It's kind of like relearning my body. I'll know what I need to do and what not to do and not to overdo it and stuff like that. It's a learning curve for me.
On whether he plans to return to Indianapolis and rejoin the team at some point before the season ends:
"Definitely. I plan on coming back and coming to some games and supporting when I'm able to. I'm looking forward to that, too. Being back in the arena and seeing the fans and my teammates and my coaching staff and everybody that works for the Pacers as well. I miss them, for sure."
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Mark Montieth's book on the formation and groundbreaking seasons of the Pacers, "Reborn: The Pacers and the Return of Pro Basketball to Indianapolis," is available in bookstores throughout Indiana and on Amazon.com.
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