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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pacers Injury Update: Paul George undergoes successful surgery on right leg

By on 8/02/2014 12:31:00 PM

After falling in an incredible awkward manner causing a nearly unwatchable injury, Paul George was diagnosed last night with a open fracture in his tibia and fibula. After successfully undergoing surgery in his right leg, George is expected to stay hospitalized for the next two to three days.

After the scrimmage was cancelled, George was sent to a hospital in Las Vegas, where the USA Team Scrimmage was happening. The doctors there performed a procedure called Open Reduction Internal Fixation, which is when they placed a long metal rod into the hollow canals of his tibia and screwing it into place.

For now, the team has released no details on when he is expected to return. The surgery procedure occurred early Saturday morning and the team has not revealed anything more. According to Pacers' President Larry Bird, the team expects to have an updated statement released later today.
"We are aware of the injury sustained by Paul George in Friday night's Team USA game in Las Vegas," Bird said, "and we are obviously greatly concerned. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with Paul. We are still gathering details and will have an updated statement Saturday."
As for the USA team, the whole operation is on hold for a bit out of respect for Paul George and his family.
"Everything's on hold right now and it should be. It would be so inappropriate for us to talk about anything else when there is a serious injury like this. 
There's a brotherhood in the NBA and to me, in moments like this, family or brotherhood shows its heart, shows its depth."
With the first exhibition game being on August 16th, the USA team will have to continue soon enough, but for now, they will not take any questions on roster selections. Right now, it's about solidarity with Paul George.

By joshuak8 (Flickr: NBA: Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Bobcats), via Wikimedia Commons
Due to the lack of specific details, it is hard to put a precise timetable on his return. To get back into basketball shape, our medical expert Adam Bitterman predicts it could take anywhere between six to 12 months, which Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, who spoke with Will Carrol of Bleacher Report, agrees with:
"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."
Another renowned orthopedic surgeon, Terry Trammell, said that the tibia "can be real slow to heal", which doesn't bode positive for the Pacers if they had hoped to have Paul George return during the 2014-2015 NBA season.

One of the biggest issues raised during this tragic injury was the placement of the stanchion that caused Paul George's leg to bend in ways that you should only see in cartoon animations. The stanchion placed in the arena the USA was scrimmaging in appears to be at least a foot or two closer than those placed in any other NBA arena. Twitter user @tdot82 put together the two situations side by side and you can see a sustainable difference.

Paul George has remained optimistic throughout the whole process and hopes to be better than ever once he returns. While many players before have said the same thing, fans across the NBA are hoping he returns quickly so they can see him in action once again.

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