The Indiana Pacers will not have the services of their top star when they head to Orlando for the NBA’s upcoming bubble league. Victor Oladipo spoke to Shams Charania of The Athletic and said that while he wants to take the floor when the league resumes following its COVID-19 hiatus, he does not want to risk suffering some sort of setback with his surgically-repaired quad.
“I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo said. “I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing. I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.”
Oladipo suffered the quad injury in early 2019 and missed a year worth of basketball as he recovered. While he came back on January 29, Indiana made it a point to take things slowly with its All-Star guard, and as a result, Oladipo never quite looked like himself as he was working off the rust. In 13 games this year, Oladipo averaged 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and three assists in 25.9 minutes per game while connecting on 39.1 percent of his attempts from the field and 30.4 percent of his threes.
Previously, Oladipo said that he wanted to test out his quad before making his decision on playing in Orlando. The Pacers currently sit at 39-26 this year, putting them in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia 76ers.