Tagged in: rehab

Pacers star Victor Oladipo pondering return during NBA restart

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo initially ruled out a return for the NBA restart in Orlando, but the two-time All-Star now says there’s a “strong possibility” that could change, though he remains unsure.

“It was hard for me to assess where I was at from the long layover, and obviously [with the coronavirus], couldn’t really control that. But now, coming down here and getting some practices in, getting my feet under me, going out there playing with the guys, there’s a possibility that I could play,” Oladipo told reporters during Wednesday’s Zoom availability.

Oladipo first planned to travel with the team to Orlando while continuing rehab on his quadriceps tendon, but now his “body’s feeling good,” with no limitations from head coach Nate McMillan during practices. He’s trying to give it a go.

Even before traveling to Orlando, the Pacers included him on their travel party list as they worked through his options.

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President of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard and GM Chad Buchanan have publicly supported Oladipo, saying the decision was his to make and giving him no set deadline, despite multiple sources confirming to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that there in an unresolved situation regarding $3 million in salary.

The union feels he should be paid his remaining salary, while the league believes he should not be, according to Windhorst. Either way, Oladipo says returning to basketball is his main focus, not the money.

The Pacers are willing to pay his salary whether or not he plays for the remainder of this shortened season, sources told Windhorst. So there’s no real pressure either way. “These people have been amazing since the day I put on this jersey. It’s no surprise that they back me and they support me,” Oladipo said.

“It’s an amazing organization, amazing people. So I’m just thankful that they’ve got my back. That’s not necessarily a given thing when you’re in a situation like I am, so I just want to let them know that I appreciate that for sure.”

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Pacers’ Victor Oladipo to ramp up activity before committing to restart

All-Star guard Victor Oladipo plans to ramp up activity with the Indiana Pacers beginning next week and evaluate his repaired torn quad tendon before to making a final commitment to playing in the season’s restart in Orlando, he told ESPN on Saturday.

Oladipo, 28, is hopeful to return to play with the Pacers, but prefers to limit the risk of significant injury after returning in January from a full year of rehabilitating the torn right quad tendon.

“I feel a whole lot better,” Oladipo told ESPN. “I know there’s risk going into it with the unique situation that I’m in — being off so long and trying to ramp it up that fast. I’ve just got to be smart, that’s all.”

The Pacers have been cautious and working cooperatively with Oladipo throughout his rehab and return, and plan to keep closely monitoring and managing his recovery with the looming restart.

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Players must inform teams by Wednesday if they plan to participate in the season’s 22-team restart in Orlando — and teams must provide the league a roster of eligible players by July 1. However, Oladipo and the Pacers can push a decision on his return through the month of July as he ramps up in Indianapolis and Orlando for training camps.

Indiana would simply keep Oladipo on its active roster until a decision is made.

A team can sign a substitute player from an eligible pool of players to replace a roster player — and that replaced player will be ineligible to return.

Oladipo had his best match of the season — 27 points versus the Boston Celtics — in his last performance prior to the March 11 shutdown of the campaign.

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Wizards’ John Wall says he is 110% but still working at rehab

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall declared himself fully recovered after two operations that sidelined him for the past 1½ years and said he is “itching” to get back on the court next campaign.

Speaking on a video call Tuesday to discuss his “202 Assist” program to help pay rent for people in the nation’s capital affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Wall said he is “still taking my time at the rehab” and working to get himself “in the best shape possible.”

“I’m 110%,” the five-time All-Star said. “I’m healthy.”

He has not played in an NBA match since December 2018. Surgery for bone spurs in his left heel ended that season; while he was working his way back from that, he tore his left Achilles tendon and needed another operation in 2019.

That held Wall out for all of the current season, which was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m itching to get back out there,” he said Tuesday.

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When play was halted, the Wizards were 24-40 and ninth in the Eastern Conference, 5.5 games behind the team in the last playoff spot, the Orlando Magic. Wall’s backcourt mate, shooting guard Bradley Beal, was second in the league in scoring at 30.5 points per game.

“I’m just focused on getting back out there and watching how Brad has developed, how our team has developed,” Wall said, “how we have made changes in the organization to prepare ourselves for next season and see what we can do.”

He thinks NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will put the safety of players and their families first when determining whether and how to resume this season.

If that can’t be certain, Wall said, “I think they’ll stop the season and prepare for next year.”

The Wizards’ practice facility is closed because of lockdown measures, so Wall has been working out at home. He uses an app the Wizards gave players with information about weightlifting, rides his bike and works on shooting and ballhandling at a half-court he has at his house.

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