Storyline: Victor Oladipo Injury

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Nothing can stop Victor Oladipo from getting buckets. In yet another video showing his recovery following surgery for a ruptured quad tendon, Oladipo shows that his 3-point shot is still very much intact, even with a brace still fitted to his right leg. While he’s shooting, Vic says “They say you gotta crawl before you can walk. They say you gotta walk before you can run.”

On the past few weeks. Victor Oladipo: “It’s just a blessing that I can still do something relating to basketball even though I can’t play the games. Just trying to find ways to get better even though I’m not able to play. I’m still watching games, still watching other people’s games, still study the game, still have time to go form shoot and stuff like that. I’m a very optimistic person and very confident that I’ll be able to come back better than ever. Just taking it one day at a time really.”

On whether his injury was related to the knee soreness that kept him out of 11 games in November and December: Victor Oladipo: “Who knows? I can sit here and say it’s related, but I really wouldn’t know. I can sit here and say it’s not related, but I really wouldn’t know. I ‘m sure it might be connected in some way, but who can tell? Who knows, really? I’m not toto focused on the past. All I’m really worried about is today and today I have rehab at 4:30.”

If anyone can understand the lengthy road ahead that Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has to navigate following Monday’s surgery, it’s the veteran guard the Hornets signed in the offseason. Tony Parker fully comprehends the rigors ahead for Oladipo. Parker ruptured his left quadriceps tendon 20 months ago in the San Antonio Spurs’ second-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets. So he feels for Oladipo, knowing the grueling journey he’s facing. “It sucks. It sucks,” Parker told The Athletic. “You never want to see that and I wish him well. They already contacted me to talk to him and I’ll try to help him as much as I can because I’ve been through it. It’s a tough injury. It’s worse than an Achilles or an ACL. It’s a big injury. Hopefully, he’s ready for the long challenge ahead and the rehab. Hopefully, he’ll be fine and he’ll be back.”

Although he hasn’t spoken directly with Oladipo yet, Parker plans to lend his verbal support should he inquire with him — something that likely will happen. Pacers team officials may also have an opportunity to ask Parker a few questions when the Hornets are in Indianapolis again to play Feb. 11. If so, just like he’s been there for his new teammates in Charlotte, Parker plans on providing Oladipo with some invaluable knowledge. “Of course, of course,” Parker said. “I’m always open to talk and share everything that I went through.”

When the Warriors (35-14) host the Indiana Pacers (32-16) on Monday, Cousins will not just have concerns on his ongoing progress from his injury. He will also have concerns with All-Star forward Victor Oladipo, who recently suffered a season-ending injury because of a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to battle from that and be even better a player than he was before,” Cousins said following practice on Sunday at Harvard University. “You hate to see any guy go through that type of thing. It sucks. It really does.”

Thaddeus Young backed up his message with an inspiring second-half performance. He finished with a game-high 23 points and season-high 15 rebounds as the Pacers snapped a five-game losing streak to the Raptors, 110-106. “You try not to think about (the injury),” Young said while seated at his locker. “You try to get through the task at hand and then try to worry about it after because it’s out of our hands. It is tough. “We rallied around what happened to Victor and tried to make the best out of the situation. You don’t like to see guys go down at any point in the season, especially with it being our star player.”

Players weren’t aware of the extent of Oladipo’s injury after the game and had not spoken to him since he left the floor on a stretcher. Neither had coach Nate McMillan, whose 600th career win was an afterthought. Several players planned to visit or talk with Oladipo once they left the arena. “As of right now, we’re worried about the injury, but we have to continue to play because nobody’s going to feel sorry for us,” Young said. “Even though Victor is out, everybody’s going to try to beat the snot out of us.”

Oladipo was carried off the court on a stretcher during the second quarter of the Pacers’ 110-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night with a serious right knee injury. He is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday. “It is a serious injury and we’ll know more after the MRI,” coach Nate McMillan said. “We’re not going to speculate. It’s a tough situation. That kid has a beautiful spirit about him. He has always been one to try and to lift us up. We’ve got to lift him now.”

He’s not yet where he’d like to be, but he’s still the Pacers’ best player and is at his best when in attack mode and opening up the floor. “It’s tough, I don’t think people can really understand how much time I missed,” Oladipo told The Athletic in a conversation after the win. “That’s no excuse, obviously, but I can’t get frustrated. I just got to continue to keep playing and the rhythm and the game and the timing and everything will come back.”

There’s progress with Victor Oladipo, after he played half-court 4-on-4 for the first time since he has sat out with a sore right knee, but his mood before Thursday’s game vs. the L.A. Lakers isn’t a happy one. He wants to play instead of missing his sixth game in a row. Oladipo only played five minutes before leaving a Nov. 17 game with the Atlanta Hawks and hasn’t played since. “It’s terrible. Terrible,” Oladipo said while icing his knee at Staples Center after the Pacers’ morning shootaround. “It’s a new step for me today.”
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