Oladipo Could Be Back For Pacers

Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon

The Indiana Pacers initially expected guard Victor Oladipo to be sidelined as the team returned to action, but now there is some hope that he could play.

Oladipo himself initially opted out of playing with his teammates in Orlando, but things have changed over the course of the last week.

The two-time All-Star has been continuing to practice with the team, and he has started to feel better in his rehab process. Oladipo has yet to make an official announcement, but he is leaving the possibility of returning to play for the first time in weeks.

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NBA teams are restricted to a select number in their travel party, but they included Oladipo to give him a chance to continue his rehab with team doctors. The Pacers have not placed any restrictions on their star, and he has been an active participant in practices.

The Indiana Pacers have publicly supported Oladipo during this decision, and they will stand by him no matter what he chooses. Oladipo initially leaked his decision through the media and failed to notify the team that he was sitting out.

Oladipo suffered a devastating knee injury midway through the 2018-19 regular season and didn’t make his return to the floor until January of 2020. The All-Star struggled during much of his return but did provide a spark to a Pacers team that is in the middle of things in the Eastern Conference.

Even though this decision will likely be about basketball, Oladipo and the Pacers are in the middle of a financial dispute. The Pacers owe their star $3 million in remaining salary, but the league doesn’t feel that the team should be forced to pay.

The players union is expected to fight on Oladipo’s behalf, but the Pacers will likely pay the money to keep their star happy.

Brogdon Practicing In Mask

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon also had a tough decision to make regarding the restart, but he quickly decided to join his teammates. Brogdon is back practicing with the Pacers, although he is using some extra equipment.

Brogdon has decided to wear a mask during practice as a safety precaution after testing positive for the coronavirus in June. The guard will take off the mask when live action begins but wants to keep his teammates safe.

Pacers head coach Nate McMillan told the media that he is not worried about Brogdon spreading the disease to his teammates because the league has such strict testing protocols in place. Brogdon wore the mask while training during his self-quarantine, and feels comfortable wearing it while on the court.

Even though a majority of the NBA players that have tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic, Brogdon did experience minor symptoms. Brogdon announced that he experienced headaches and a fever after contracting the virus, but is back to feeling 100 percent.

This is the first year for Brogdon with the Pacers, and the guard has provided some leadership and perimeter shooting. A healthy Brogdon and Oladipo could lead the Pacers on a deep playoff run.

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