It’s been a while for Indiana Pacers fans, but soon, they’ll see Victor Oladipo’s return as he’s set to make his season debut.
The former All-Star was sidelined for over a year following his knee injury last season. Now he’ll come back again to lend his skills to a team already in the mix for a playoff spot almost midway through the season.
Oladipo set to debut against Chicago Bulls
Based on recent comments Victor Oladipo made to Shams Charania of Stadium, he’ll be back as of Wednesday, January 29 when the Pacers host the Chicago Bulls.
“That could change, that might not change,” Oladipo said, adding, “It’s definitely good to have something to look forward to especially after 12 months of wondering and hoping and not being sure of 12 months of the unknown.”
“To finally have somewhat of a goal to look forward to is pretty astronomic for me in this process,” Oladipo told Charania. “I’m way stronger now than I was before, especially mentally. I just feel like nothing can faze me. I’ve been through the worst.”
Oladipo suffered the injury back in January of last year when he ruptured the quad tendon in his right knee in a game against the Toronto Raptors. That required a stretcher to take him off the court, and eventually, surgery followed by a lengthy rehab.
Pacers star Victor Oladipo tells @Stadium he plans to make season debut on Jan. 29 against Chicago and discusses emotions returning from yearlong absence after torn quad tendon in knee. Stay tuned for my full sitdown. pic.twitter.com/lmzwsKmwav
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 8, 2020
Back in late December, Oladipo joined the Pacers’ G League affiliate team to continue working on his rehab. At that time, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated he’d be back playing for his NBA team by late January.
Prior to being sidelined, Oladipo averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in 36 games for the 2018-19 NBA season. He’s a two-time All-Star since joining Indiana with a career-best 23.1 points and 2.4 steals per game in 2017-18.
“It’s going to be a very, very emotional night,” Oladipo said with regards to his planned return at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“I think more so for everyone that’s supported me that’s coming to watch than me,” he said chuckling about it.
Oladipo posted a special message on Twitter to inform fans, family, and friends of his situation.
“I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing in front of you fans again and playing with my teammates,” he mentioned in a message where he also thanked everyone for the continued support during his rehab.
A special message from @VicOladipo.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 8, 2020
Since he’s amongst the team’s top stars, it’s believed the Indiana Pacers will limit his minutes to transition him back into playing as he once was. The Rotoworld website suggests viewing Victor Oladipo with caution in terms of fantasy sports lineups until he starts to show he’s back to his old self on the court.
The Indiana Pacers host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, January 29 at 7/6c.