NBA rumors: Woj: Victor Oladipo 'expected to come back this season'

More on Victor Oladipo Injury

Ira Winderman: Heat injury report for Friday at Minnesota: Victor Oladipo (knee soreness) out. Andre Iguodala (hip soreness) questionable. Gabe Vincent (knee soreness) probable.
Asked directly on Saturday night if Oladipo will play again this season, coach Erik Spoelstra declined to say. Spoelstra, following the team’s practice in Portland, said he had no update on Oladipo and that the Heat is still in the “information gathering stage right now. I don’t have a new update. He’s not with us on this trip and he won’t be with us [Sunday]. I don’t have any new information.”
He had an MRI on Friday, but the Heat and Oladipo have declined to release the results. X-rays taken after Thursday’s game were negative. Spoelstra declined to discuss his conversation with Oladipo but said “he really wanted to be with us and this team and we really like what he brings to our group. He complements who we are and what we do already so much on both sides of the floor. You do feel for guys, particularly this time of the year. The competition is going to another level. Players want to be out there.”
Scott Agness: X-ray on Victor Oladipo’s right knee came back negative, league source told @FieldhouseFiles. He has an MRI scheduled for Friday.
Ira Winderman: Bam Adebayo said he believes Victor Oladpio is "OK." Adebayo called it "a little scare" and said Oladipo was in good spirits postgame,
Ira Winderman: Victor Oladipo revealed tonight that a strength deficit between his legs remains, "One leg is stronger than the other. So I have some hypertrophy in one leg than the other. So working my way back and finding my balance is something I'm continuing to work at."
If Oladipo returns Monday, his first game with the Rockets and first game back after getting hurt Feb. 11 will both be against the Bulls. The first time, he had to jump in with little preparation time or even familiarity with his new team and scored 32 points with nine assists. He has struggled since, and especially in recent weeks, missing four of the Rockets past five games and leaving the game he did play after 20 minutes. In his past four games played, all Rockets losses, he made 21 of 62 shots and just 5 of 24 3-pointers, averaging 13.8 points per game.
If getting him back is the first priority, getting his offensive game back in gear could be next. “It’s very important,” Silas said of having the weekend practices to hone Oladipo’s place within the Rockets offense. “He was able to be on the floor (on Friday) when we were kind of cleaning up our offense, putting in things. Hopefully, he’ll be able to practice one of these next couple of days. We have to make sure he’s able to get to where he wants to be on the offense end.
Houston led Thursday’s game by six points at halftime, but Miami outscored them by 18 during a disastrous third quarter — headlined by the injuries to Oladipo and Tucker. In postgame comments, Silas did not have a definitive answer on the status of either injured player. “Victor’s gonna get checked,” Silas said. “Hopefully his injury isn’t too bad. He is a big part of what we do, and one of the reasons that we’re a top-five defensive team in the NBA is Victor Oladipo. Offense will come.”
Ira Winderman: McMillan sounds as if Oladipo will play in Thursday's Game 2, "He went through the walkthrough today. We'll make a decision on him tomorrow." McMillan said he did not hear or know about a Pacers assistant trying to bait Jimmy Butler.
Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo left their 113-101 loss to the Miami Heat early after being poked in the eye on Tuesday, and had to visit the on-campus clinic for further evaluation. Initial tests, however, showed “no immediate concerns” and he is now listed as day-to-day, a good sign for the Pacers. “He wasn't saying much,” said Malcolm Brogdon, who put up 22 points and 10 assists in the loss, via ESPN. “He was just saying he got hit in the eye, and we just got to wait to see if he'll be back next game.
Nick Friedell: Nate McMillan says Victor Oladipo went to the hospital to get his eye checked out. The Pacers are awaiting the results.
The Pacers fully support Oladipo and whatever he decides, although they haven’t always been on the same page. There was a fracture in the relationship after his injury in Jan. 2019, per sources. It has improved over time. And it’s good that the team has two executives down there, Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan, to assist during this situation. “It’s no surprise that they backed me and they support me,” Oladipo said of the organization. “I’m just thankful that they got my back.”
While Oladipo’s rehab was negatively impacted by the coronavirus, he had an advantage over many because he has a personal physical therapist — who was among the 35 individuals on the Pacers’ traveling party to Disney, by the way — access to a gym and weights in his garage. If he needed something more, he could have elected to remain in Indianapolis during quarantine, with the practice facility at his disposal, rather than going to his home to Orlando. Twice he mentioned not having the resources to truly test his knee, referring to playing against competition in a group setting. But neither have most players.
Meanwhile, Oladipo is proceeding with caution — and he should. This is his livelihood and he must make the most of it, both in terms of his production on the court and earnings that come as a result. Assuming he is healthy and confident enough to play, Oladipo then has to decide what is best for his career. He has said for more than a year that his focus is on the macro, on playing in the league for the next 10 years.
All-Star guard Victor Oladipo plans to ramp up activity with the Indiana Pacers starting next week and evaluate his repaired torn quad tendon prior to making a final commitment to playing in the season's restart in Orlando, he told ESPN on Saturday. Oladipo, 28, is hopeful to return to play with the Pacers, but wants to limit the risk of significant injury after returning in January from a full year of rehabilitating the torn right quad tendon.
"I feel a whole lot better," Oladipo told ESPN. "I know there's risk going into it with the unique situation that I'm in -- being off so long and trying to ramp it up that fast. I've just got to be smart, that's all." The Pacers have been cautious and working cooperatively with Oladipo throughout his rehab and return, and plan to continue closely monitoring and managing his recovery with the looming restart.
Oladipo has tried to look at the bright side of the situation and views quarantine like "almost getting a second chance." "I had the opportunity to look at it two ways: negatively or positively. At the end of the day I chose the positive outlook on it," Oladipo said. "I'm just using this opportunity to give me time to get healthy and continue getting stronger." "I'm definitely optimistic and definitely thankful for where I'm at right now," he added. "I just have to continue to keep working hard and staying ready."
Scott Agness: Victor Oladipo (back tightness) shot around today and didn’t feel like he was ready to go. Both he and Edmond Sumner (sore hip) won’t play vs Hornets.
Scott Agness: He’s back.
Mark Montieth: McMillan says @Victor Oladipo picked his return date, with approval of Pacers staff. Coming off road trip with 7 of next 8 at home seemed like the right time. Bulls could be a forgiving foe tonight with Wendell Carter Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter Jr. out.
Victor Oladipo remains on track to return to the court next Wednesday when the Pacers take on the Bulls, a source tells Hoops Rumors. Oladipo, who has spent time this month in the G League rehabbing, hasn’t played since January of last year after he ruptured his quad tendon in his right knee, but has had January 29 circled on his calendar for the last few weeks.
John Karalis: Pacers announce they've assigned Victor Oladipo to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for today’s practice. He's getting closer
Scott Agness: Pacers assigned Victor Oladipo to the Mad Ants for the fifth time since Nov. 12. The Mad Ants are practicing in Indy both today and Tuesday.
The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday they have assigned guards Victor Oladipo and Edmond Sumner to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, their affiliate in the NBA G League. Oladipo and Sumner will participate in practices only with the Mad Ants today, Tuesday and Wednesday as part of their rehabilitation.
Scott Agness: Oladipo spoke for 5 minutes but remains evasive in his answers. Still no timeline, but he’s playing most days, scrimming full court and without rest. "I don’t think there’s anything I can’t do in life so I guess y’all will be the judge when I come back.” McMillan: He looked OK.
The Indiana Pacers announced Sunday they have assigned Victor Oladipo to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, their affiliate in the NBA G League. Oladipo will practice with the Mad Ants Sunday afternoon in Fort Wayne and will be recalled after practice.
J. Michael Falgoust: This is an offday after a back to back. #Pacers are traveling to Brooklyn for a game Monday. Therefore, to get Victor Oladipo practice time, theyve assigned him to the Mad Ants again and he'll be recalled after he gets work in with them. Standard operating procedure
Rod Beard: #Pacers center Myles Turner is questionable tonight vs. #Pistons. Victor Oladipo, Jeremy Lamb, Goga Bitadze and Edmund Sumner all are OUT. #DFS
Oladipo was upbeat and calm after ramping up his participation during the Pacers' practice session at St. Vincent Center. Having been relegated to non-contact drills since the beginning of training camp, he was given the go-ahead to jump into controlled halfcourt scrimmages for the first time. That marked a major step forward in the rehabilitation process related to the torn quadricep muscle he suffered in a game against Toronto on Jan. 23.
McMillan offered no analysis of Oladipo's play on Saturday other than to say he "looked good," and said doctors are not offering a timetable for a return. "You never know," McMillan said. "I know he's working hard to get himself back. I've been watching him all summer long and I've never seen anyone attack the rehab as hard as he has. He's working extremely hard every day to get back better than he was."
Scott Agness: Victor Oladipo participated in halfcourt 5-on-5 for the first time since his injury. He went about 30 minutes. “Good,” McMillan said, his face saying more than his words. "He looked good."
And McMillan made sure the “half-court” distinction was clear in his announcement Friday, one day after Oladipo was absent from practice while getting a check-up with his doctors regarding his injury. “He’s been doing some things 1-on-1,” McMillan said. “But this is a good sign. “They’re going slowly to try to work him into being able to go every day, but it’s good news to know he’ll be able to participate in that first part of practice.”
While Victor Oladipo avoids specifics about his recovery from a surgically repaired right knee, he participated in everything except scrimmaging when the Indiana Pacers opened training camp Saturday. "He spent the first 20 to 30 minutes of practice going through drills," said coach Nate McMillan, who was briefed by the medical staff last night on Oladipo's progress after a torn quad muscle Jan. 23. "Nothing with contact. Basically the warm-up part of practice. That was good enough for me to see him out on the floor with his teammates."
Oladipo watched from the sidelines where he was his typical demonstrative self. He's not going to scrimmage any time soon with his return on pace for December or January. Could he return sooner? Possibly. But the Pacers will be cautious and manage his workload. Last year he played through early-season soreness that probably led to the rupture of the quad tendon. "It was awesome," Domantas Sabonis said of Oladipo being with them again. "He did 80 percent of the practice. It looks like he never left."
Scott Agness: Victor Oladipo went through the warmup/drills with the team, “good enough for me,” Nate McMillan said. Then watched when they went live. His camp always begins with the fundamentals and defense.
Myles Turner is hopeful Oladipo returns in December or January. “I’ve heard some people say after the All-Star break, but I just know how Vic’s wired,” Turner said Friday at the team’s annual media day. “He’s been attacking the whole process. He’s already doing stuff on the court.”
Tim Reynolds: Pacers' Nate McMillan on Vic Oladipo: "I know that he will not start the season. I haven't had any information given to me that he will be practicing live with the team anytime soon, so I don't anticipate Victor being available for a while. I don't really know what 'a while' is."
Buchanan said he's approaching 2020-21 as three separate seasons: without Oladipo, reacclimating Oladipo into the lineup, and playing with a fully healthy Oladipo as the rest of the team falls into place around him. "It was a very unique injury, a very rare injury, so we'll be patient with it," Buchanan said. "You guys know Vic; he's an ideal worker, so we feel confident that he's going to get back to what he was before."
McMillan said he spent time with Oladipo in Miami and Las Vegas during the offseason, in addition to observing the guard at the team facility last week. The longtime coach said Oladipo is in good spirits but he has a hurdle in front of him — contact. "He's not playing live but he's moving. He's in a good position mentally," McMillan said. "He feels that everything is going well. I like what I see with him. ... He's doing great. He's not doing any live contact, still in that rehab stage of working with the trainers. I just know (opening night on Oct. 23) he probably won't be there. The time frame, we have no idea of when he will return."
Chad Buchanan said he's approaching 2020-21 as three separate seasons: without Oladipo, reacclimating Oladipo into the lineup, and playing with a fully healthy Oladipo as the rest of the team falls into place around him. "It was a very unique injury, a very rare injury, so we'll be patient with it," Buchanan said. "You guys know Vic; he's an ideal worker, so we feel confident that he's going to get back to what he was before."
SiriusXM NBA Radio: While speaking with @TheFrankIsola Pacers Center Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) was very optimistic about Victor Oladipo's (@VicOladipo) return from injury. "He [Victor Oladipo] will be back a lot sooner than people think".
[Victor Oladipo] resumed on-court work two months ago, but it’s all been one-on-zero. In other words, he hasn’t been challenged by a defense or had to react to an opponent’s movement. “Ah, I’m getting there,” he said, obviously hesitant to share any more. “I’m working my way there. You can’t rush these things, you just got to take your time. At the end of the day, Rome wasn’t built in one day.”
And while Oladipo has not publicly set a timeline to return, he’s eagerly awaiting the day when he can suit up again and rejoin his teammates on the floor, something he hasn’t done since Jan. 23. “I’m just excited to play basketball again, honestly,” Oladipo said as campers were nearby doing station drills. “Just go out there and compete at the highest level possible. I got a lot to let go so I’m looking forward to letting it go.”
J. Michael Falgoust: Since Ive been asked about Oladipo...there's no indication when or if he'll be here for #NBASummerLeague .... Wouldnt be surprised if he doesn't show based on the vibe Ive gotten. No big deal if he doesn't. He's got other priorities #PacersGrizz
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