Almost a month ago to the day, on January 8, 2024, Tyrese Haliburton went down with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain after slipping on the Indiana Pacers court and getting carried off with a towel on his head.
At first, this injury seemed to have potential season-altering consequences as, during that time, the grade and severity were not known. It was possible that Haliburton could miss anywhere from the rest of the month to a few months and the All-Star game in Indiana, which he was starting in.
To add to the awkwardness, the Pacers would trade for All-Star Pascal Siakam during Haliburton's absence in a move designed to not only help Haliburton on the floor but perhaps grab some extra wins during his absence.
However, this would turn out to be quite interesting when Haliburton announced his return quicker than anybody could've expected. Originally slated to be re-evaluated on January 22, Haliburton surprised the NBA world by announcing that he intended to play in Indiana's January 19 matchup against Portland, three days ahead of his scheduled re-evaluation, much less a potential return to the court.
Despite looking decent in this outing, it was clear that it was perhaps too soon for the superstar, as he would miss the next five games managing his injury in hopes to not re-aggravate it.
Eventually, the serious concerns about him playing would be put to rest, and Haliburton would make his full-time return to the rotation on January 30 against the very team he got injured against, the Boston Celtics.
As of February 7, it has been five games with Haliburton back in the rotation, and now is perhaps as good a time as ever with the trade deadline coming up to review how exactly Haliburton has fared in these return games, how his minutes have been managed, how well he has shot, and, perhaps most importantly, how well he has played alongside Pascal Siakam.
(Note: This was written before the Indiana Pacers' loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.)