On January 23, 2019, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo’s season ended as he ruptured his quad tendon in his right knee against the Toronto Raptors. The six-year veteran was averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game for the Pacers before going down with his injury. After just 36 games into the 2018-19 season.
The Pacers were able to make the playoffs despite Oladipo’s injury, but were swept in the first round.
Last week, per J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star, Oladipo was showing some progress and giving the Pacers a reason to be optimistic as he participated in non-contact activities on Saturday during training camp.
Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis said of the All-Star guard: “It was awesome. He did 80 percent of the practice. It looks like he never left.”
The Portland, Oregon native averaged career highs in points with 14.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game a season ago for the Pacers.
Head coach Nate McMillan shared that Oladipo used that first 20 to 30 minutes of practice going through drills, as Bleacher Report revealed.
“[The] first 20 to 30 minutes of practice going through drills—Basically, the warm-up part of the practice,” McMillan stated.
Pacers Excited About Oladipo’s Participation, but No Timetable for Return
“I don’t anticipate Victor being available for a while, and I don’t know what a while is,” McMillan told reporters during Friday’s media day. “There’s no timetable.”
On Tuesday, former Pacers guard and current Dallas Mavericks assistant coach, Darrell Armstrong, stated Oladipo will be fine when he returns from injury.
“I’m not for sure how long it’s going to take for Oladipo to get back to practice. I don’t think he has been cleared, but I think he will do well. When you get that opportunity, you have to take advantage of it. Victor Olapido is set and where he needs to be with that team, ” Armstrong told me.
Can Olapido Return as One of the Best Two-Way Players in the Game?
This is the million-dollar question which many fans are wondering, and I asked Armstrong about the topic. The former Pacer backed Oladipo while vouching for his ability to return in impressive fashion.
“Yeah, he can; if you’re willing to play defense and score, you can always get back. It’s all about him staying healthy. I think this is the second time he has been injured. So, for him if anything. He is thinking to himself is to say healthy.” Armstrong stated.
“You can’t help your team when you are injured. You can’t sometimes help; hopefully, he stays healthy because Olapido is fun to watch. Hopefully, he can get back on his feet and perform the same way before he got hurt,” Armstrong told me.
Pacers Add Pieces to Cover Until Oladipo Returns
This offseason, the Pacers added guard Jeremy Lamb on a three-year deal worth $31.5 million and will bring so much needed scoring for Indy.
The Pacers also added Malcolm Brogdon via a sign and trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this summer, the Pacers also sent a first-round and two future second-round picks to the Bucks for Brogdon. The Pacers and Brogdon inked an $85 million deal over 4 years.