Indiana Pacers’ forward Paul George sustained a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg during Friday night’s USA Basketball showcase and had surgery on the injury early Saturday morning, according to USA Basketball. George suffered the injury after attempting to block a lay-up by Houston Rockets’ guard James Harden.
George’s surgery was successful and there was no ancillary damage, per USA Basketball. He is expected to remain hospitalized for the next three days.
Will Carroll, the sports injuries writer for Bleacher Report, talked to Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, one of the top orthopedic physicians in sports medicine about George’s injury and the recovery process.
“It could take anywhere from six to 12 months to return to fully competitive basketball after such a fracture. He first requires a period of six weeks of being on crutches. Then the athlete gradually progresses to rehabilitation, physical therapy and cross training. Once the fracture healing is strong, the athlete will return for progressions to practice and games. Once completed, most athletes can perform at pre-injury levels.”
Much of the post-injury discussion centered around the placement of the basket stanchion where George’s right foot collided, causing his leg to snap. The stanchion at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas is visibly closer to the court than the standard NBA version.
George has received plenty of support from the basketball community. Tweets from numerous players flooded Twitter last night in support of George.
“Our first thoughts are with Paul and his family. It is way too early to speculate on his return as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery. Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic. We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery.
“There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back. Our franchise has had setbacks in its history but has demonstrated the abilities to recover. Paul will provide the example of that off the court and it is up to the rest of us to provide that example on the court. Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time. Our focus is solely on Paul and doing whatever we can to help.
”We still support USA Basketball and believe in the NBA’s goals of exposing our game, our teams and players worldwide. This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly-visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere.
“Finally, the Pacers would like to thank our fans and the NBA community for their outreach of support in the brief amount of time since the injury occurred. It has been overwhelming and it is what makes Indiana and the NBA special.”
Brandon Curry is the Pacers beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Follow him on Twitter @BCurryNBA.
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