Storyline: Paul George Injury

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George has been in the training facility practicing and weightlifting for nearly three weeks, as we’ve seen on Instagram. His on-court work has primarily consisted of shooting and finishing-at-the-rim exercises, one-on-one drills to keep his isolation skills sharp and free throws. He has yet to return to full-contact action. But that hasn’t prevented from being in the gym every day, including making late-night trips with Leonard and Lou Williams. “He’s made great progress,” Frank said. “He works his tail off. He’s been terrific. We have a great performance, health and wellness staff. … We put it in their hands. He works extremely hard. He’s extremely excited and motivated. I’m sure you guys have seen some of the stuff that’s been posted. He gets after it.”

My speculative answer: I think George will return around the start of the season on Oct. 22, give or take a couple weeks. The early side is probably early-to-mid October; the late side mid-to-late November. Most people I’ve spoken to around the league are leaning towards the latter, with George likely missing the start of the season. The recovery process from surgery is rarely linear — there can be unforeseen setbacks or progress in the process. There’s enough time — almost two months until he’ll be re-evaluated — for things to change for George. We’ll have a better idea around the start of training camp in late September.

He had it drained this offseason and found the source of his discomfort.  “I had a huge sac, 18 to 20 ounces of blood just sitting in the sac of my elbow, so I had that aspirated,” George said. “I was dealing with that for pretty much the whole season. That was causing a lot of frustration with shooting, and playing. To be able to shoot again, to be able to feel confident in my shot, to not have that on my mind, playing on the court … I’m great going forward.”

On May 9 he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.  “The knee is doing good,” he said in the Post story. “It still has a long way to go. … It looks like I’m doing well, but I’m still working through some stuff, and still working on trusting and putting full confidence in my leg. I’m a little ways away, but there’s no pain, there’s no swelling, there’s nothing I’m concerned about. I’m just not at the level I need to be. There’s no limitations. All it is is taking steps, all it is is progression. I’m just trying to get ready and prepare for training camp down the line.”

Nike designer Tony Hardman said there was a point where nobody at the brand knew if they’d be moving forward with a Paul George signature shoe or not. “You don’t know if a guy is gonna come back from an injury like that,” Hardman told Sole Collector. “That’s a crazy injury to try and come back from. So, even for me as a designer, it was almost like the resource was kinda put on hold for a little bit. We don’t know what’s gonna happen with Paul.”
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