INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo understands the recovery from the ruptured quad tendon in his right knee will long and grueling.
He is determined not to come back even stronger after undergoing surgery Monday.
“He is expected to make a full recovery. No timetable has been established for his return,” the Pacers said.
Oladipo was injured in Wednesday’s victory over Toronto. He was scrambling back to defend an outlet pass when his leg bent awkwardly and he fell to the ground. Trainers immediately a draped a towel over his injured leg and he was taken off the court on a stretcher. An MRI on Thursday confirmed the Pacers’ worst fears — their top scorer would not play again this season.
Over the weekend, though, Oladipo addressed the injury for the first time publicly.
“I can’t even lie the last few months have been really tough for not only me but for my family as well. You give it your all, literally your blood, sweat and tears to the game you love and things like this happen,” he wrote on Instagram, adding that he will rely on his faith to help him get through the rehabilitation. He thanked fans and others from around the league for sharing their support.
Tyreke Evans replaced Oladipo in the starting lineup Saturday at Memphis and scored nine points in Indiana’s 106-103 loss.
The Pacers currently hold the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference chase and many expect them to struggle against a tougher schedule over the next three months without Oladipo, who averaged 19.2 points.
But even though Indiana is 7-5 without Oladipo this season, coach Nate McMillan said Thursday he expected to discuss options as the Feb. 7 trade deadline nears.
Whatever happens next, coaches and teammates have acknowledged repeatedly that Oladipo remains upbeat about his recovery.
“There is always that point in time where you wonder why it’s happening to you. You even wonder if there was something you could have done differently to prevent the outcome,” he wrote in the post. “The confusion, the contemplation, the anger, the sadness and the tears that flow frequently come, but they never last. The amount of support, love and prayers that I have received over the past few days have been breathtaking and has truly inspired me to come back even better than before.”