It wasn’t shocking when the Indiana Pacers revealed the diagnosis: Paul George had a compound fracture and would miss the upcoming season. Anyone who watched George collide with the stanchion during that night’s Team USA scrimmage could have guessed the prognosis.
Since coming out of surgery, however, George has repeatedly said he is progressing well. He has been cleared to lift weights with his upper body and he walked around without a boot for the first time yesterday at media day.
This is a recovery that requires time as much as rehab to heal, but things are going so well that Paul George believes he might be able to suit up for the Pacers this year — if the short-handed squad can make the playoffs.
He revealed those hopes to Mark Montieth of Pacers.com.
“It’s very possible that I can play [this season],” George said. “I’ve talked to all the guys and said, ‘Man, you guys have to get in the playoffs. That’s the best chance I’ve got of coming back and playing this year.’ I’ve already got it in mind that I could miss this whole year. I’m come to peace with that, but I’d love to be able to come back and play again.”
Don’t get your hopes up.
George is no doctor, and unless this team gets its Mighty Ducks on, there is very little chance that the team — even with Paul George — will make it out of the second round of the playoffs.
Is the dream of getting past the first round so great that a team would be anything less than negligent in letting its max-salaried, franchise player risk his health?
It should be noted that I’m no doctor either. This might come to a shock to those I lied to at my high school reunion, but it is true. So if the Indiana Pacers do manage to extend their year into the postseason, perhaps letting Paul George get some game reps on his mended leg would be mentally beneficial, even if his presence — which will be difficult to integrate on the fly — won’t put them over the top.
Thus, we can file this one under “Mildly Interesting — Check Back in March.”