Pacers’ small forward Paul George suffered a freak accident last night playing in a scrimmage for Team USA. He underwent successful surgery put a pin in his leg to fix repair a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula.
There was no damage to the surrounding ligament, nerves or blood vessels and is should just be a matter of the bone healing up over time. However, it could be four to six months before he able to even able to run again. That means he won’t be able to return to basketball activities until 2015. He will be kept in the hospital in Las Vegas for the next few days for observation.
There is even questions about the future of his career. The tibia sometimes heals very slowly and there is also a mental hurdle to overcome with an injury like this. George made a normal basketball play, and would have been fine in the majority of NBA stadiums but the station appears to be a lot closer than the normal four feet.
Basket stanchions at Thomas & Mack Center appears to be significantly closer than NBA standard. pic.twitter.com/q0Nd5N847D
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 2, 2014
George’s foot was caught between the basket stanchion and the floor while contesting a layup late in the game. His momentum carried him forward while his foot stayed planted, forcing the fracture. It was a freak accident that could have happened anywhere and in any game. Team President Larry Bird issued a statement this morning on George:
Our first thoughts are with Paul and his family. It is way too early to speculate on his return as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery. Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic. We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery. There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back. Our franchise has had setbacks in its history but has demonstrated the abilities to recover. Paul will provide the example of that off the court and it is up to the rest of us to provide that example on the court. Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time. Our focus is solely on Paul and doing whatever we can to help.
This is a huge blow to the Pacers and easily takes them out of contention for the Central division race. It could also lead to the team not even making the playoffs. Players around the league reacted to the news and reached out to George with thoughts and prayers.
Man just landed and got a message about @Paul_George24. Made me immediately sick to my stomach!! Praying for u a speedy recovery homie!!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 2, 2014
— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) August 2, 2014
Sick to my stomach for Paul George. He’s tough as nails though. He’ll be back big time.
— Steve Nash (@SteveNash) August 2, 2014
We’ll have updates on this story as it develops.