All-Star guard Victor Oladipo continues to progress in his recovery from a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee, but he’s not ready for live basketball activities with the new-look Indiana Pacers.
Head coach Nate McMillan said he is starting to sense Oladipo is getting close to being on the floor with his team after seeing him work out this week.
“I’ve gotten some of that (medical information), I’ll get all of that tonight. He was just over there shooting. He’s back to himself in the gym — 8 o’clock, music blasting, singing and shooting,” McMillan said at Pacers media day Friday. “He will not do anything live for a while. Will he be able to go through the first part of practice? They (medical staff) will let me know that tonight.”
Oladipo said Friday he’s focused on the mental aspect of his rehab. The physical part of it, he said, is self-explanatory.
“That’s what I’m focused on — building my mind to be in game shape,” Oladipo said. He said he learned a lot about himself over the summer with hours spent not playing pickup basketball but working to restore strength in his rebuilt right leg.
Oladipo said he hasn’t been given an exact return date.
“You’ll just have to wait and see like everyone else,” Oladipo said.
McMillan said there “hasn’t been a timetable given to me,” when asked if Oladipo could be back for the regular season.
“I know that he will not start the season,” McMillan said, adding that he doesn’t expect Oladipo to be available for “awhile.” Oladipo was injured Jan. 24 against the Toronto Raptors.
Team president Kevin Pritchard has previously said Oladipo will return in December or January.
He’ll return — eventually — to a few new faces on the roster.
The Pacers acquired point guard Malcolm Brogdon from the Milwaukee Bucks over the summer and with Oladipo and center Myles Turner, who signed a four-year, $80 million contract extension in 2018, McMillan has been giddy about his potential matchup advantages.
“We are excited about this group that we have,” McMillan said. “Getting this group together as a whole. The timeline with this group is not really about just this season, but for the next couple of years, this group will be together. ... This team will have an opportunity for the next few years to grow. We’re excited about the future of this group. ... These guys are about to get to their prime.”
—Field Level Media