NBA All-Star Paul George of the Indiana Pacers continues to rehab his broken leg as the young NBA season rolls on. George broke his leg in horrific fashion over the summer in a scrimmage game in Las Vegas as a member or Team USA, and has been working diligently to come back from the injury. Recently, George has resumed shooting practice as he has returned to the court, as reported by the Inquisitr, but he is nowhere near 100 percent.
Paul George has said that he hopes to be back this season — especially if the Indiana Pacers can prolong the calendar with a playoff run — but Pacers head coach Frank Vogel has come out against the idea, publicly saying that it is “unlikely” that George will play this season at all. In an interview with the Indianapolis Star (via NBC ProBasketballtalk), Vogel explained what team doctors are saying.
“Very unlikely that Paul George plays this year. It’s going to be up to the doctors to see where he’s at as he starts increasing activity. He hasn’t done any real activity on that thing other than walk around and shoot around. It’s still a long ways away and we’re still approaching it like it’s very unlikely he’s going to play this year.”
Though his coach is erring on the side of caution, Paul George has made it very clear that his goal is to be back this season. In his own interview with the Indianapolis Star, George explains his drive to rush back from what looked to be a career-threatening injury.
“It’s a goal for sure to be able to have the opportunity to play this year, especially alongside the group of guys that we’ve got. I feel very confident with the guys we got (who) are in the jersey or out of the jersey right now. We have a good team. That’s one of my goals. I would love to come back and make a return and help this team out anyway I can down the line. But right now it’s about getting healthy and making sure I’m good for the future.”
The war of words between coach and player only proves that the Pacers team, currently sitting in 10th place in the eastern conference with a 5-8 record, is looking to battle back and be competitive now and in the future. Paul George’s injury capped off a tumultuous off-season that also saw Lance Stephenson bolt the team for Charlotte, and most big name free-agents skip Indiana altogether as other teams in the eastern conference restocked with talent.
Regardless if Paul George plays this season or not, it will be a tough year, and maybe that’s why Frank Vogel isn’t too keen on rushing back his star player.
Do you think Paul George should rush back to play this season? Do the Indiana Pacers stand a chance without him? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images]