When will Victor Oladipo come back for the Indiana Pacers?

NBA fans across the globe were treated to a truly remarkable off-season as the entire landscape was flipped on its head. As Woj bomb after Woj bomb was dropped in the opening moments of July, the Indiana Pacers remained mostly quiet. Then on July the 6th, once the other dominoes had fallen into place, General Manager Chad Buchanan made his move. The Pacers trade for Malcolm Brogdon significantly increases their chances of surviving in a suddenly stacked Eastern Conference. Without star man Victor Oladipo, and steady veteran point guard Darren Collison (retired) will that be enough? 

Oladipo suffered his ruptured quad tendon in his right knee on January 23rd, 2018. The most hopeful prognosticators indicate Victor may be able to return for the second half of the NBA season. According to the Indy Star, orthopaedic surgeons are predicting Oladipo could return within 6-9 months. However, Pacers President Kevin Pritchard recently stated he was hopeful Dipo could return in December or January, making the recovery process more like 11 months.

Of course, Pritchard is right to be cautious in his approach, as any deadline could receive considerable fan backlash should Oladipo not make the intended recovery date. There is very little history to look at in terms of this type of injury in high-level professional athletes. It is far more likely to occur in the older population. Thus, at this point in the process any estimate on Victor Oladipo’s return is mostly a guess. Do checkout the VO Show on Youtube for updates, where Oladipo himself documents his recovery, step by step.

The Victor Oladipo Comeback Train is Something Everyone Will Want to Hop On

Third year big man and FIBA team USA star Myles Turner will be relied on more than ever. Turner has shown vast improvement each year in the league, and will look to turn a busy summer into a productive winter. The athletic big and sharpshooting, versatile Brogdon make quite the underrated tandem. Their pairing could become an analytics dream and allow the Pacers to weather the storm without their best player. An Oladipo comeback could provide just the spark this team needs to make a run at an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Oladipo coming back to any team on the planet would of course provide a boost. A healthy Dipo was averaging 18.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists a game prior to his devastating injury. Still just a season removed from All-Star, Most Improved Player, and All-NBA honors, fans across the country hope that Oladipo can return to his former glory. The Pacers are correct to be hesitant and cautious over his recovery. Allowing Oladipo to rehab and get back to 100% has to be their priority for this entire season. Rushing a player back in order to thrust the team into the playoff hunt rarely ever works. Especially after Kevin Durant’s devastating Achilles tear in this years’ NBA Finals, the Pacers will be more cautious than ever with their star combo guard.

NBA franchises at times are meticulously careful with their star player’s well beings. The modern NBA demands it. During this era of extreme player movement and behind the scenes player to player recruiting, star’s are catered to more than ever. The term “load management” was born from team’s protecting the well-being of their talismans. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Victor Oladipo return in mid-January and lead the Indiana Pacers to victory.