In the midst of an impressive start to the young season for the Indiana Pacers, team officials informed the media that Danny Granger could return to practice as early as Wednesday. Granger is recovering from a surgically repaired left knee; he also suffered a calf strain in the preseason.
The Indiana Pacers have started 8-0 for the first time in franchise history. All eight wins have come without their injured veteran forward. That should come as no surprise, however, considering the last time Granger played in a regular season game.
It was March 3, 2013. If you do the math, that adds up to over eight months of inactivity for Granger in games that matter. Indiana finished third in the Eastern Conference last season and took the Miami Heat to seven games in the conference finals. The 6-foot-9 small forward out of New Mexico says he has not experienced any setbacks in his left knee rehabilitation process. Granger suffered from patellar tendinosis in the knee that sidelined him for all but five games in 2012-13.
Indiana welcomed Granger back to game action during the 2013-14 preseason slate, only to watch him suffer a calf strain that put him back in street clothes to start the regular season. The team announced Granger, 30, would miss approximately three weeks as a precautionary measure to rehab his strained calf.
No timetable has been set for a return to game action for Granger. The team stated he would take part in 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills before participating in full-speed scrimmages.
Meanwhile, Paul George has emerged as Indiana’s go-to guy. The Pacers signed George to a five-year max extension in the offseason, and George has responded by averaging nearly 25 points per game and just under eight rebounds while shooting 48% from the field. Not to mention, as stated earlier, Indiana has made it look easy in their undefeated start to the season.
If Granger can return to playing consistent game minutes, he could certainly add a nice scoring punch off the bench for head coach Frank Vogel.