Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo says he’s considering sitting out that NBA’s resumption in Orlando later this month due to fears over his susceptibility to injury.
Oladipo returned from a ruptured quadriceps tendon in January after missing more than a year with the injury and fears the speed of the NBA’s scheduled restart could leave him vulnerable to a recurrence.
The two-time All Star’s presence could make the Pacers a major threat in the Eastern Conference, with the team having sat fifth in standings when the coronavirus caused the league to be suspended in March.
“At the end of the day, it takes time for your body to heal,” Oladipo said on Wednesday.
“They’re sure I feel better, but at the same time we’ve had an extensive period of time off and to go back and ramp things up again, I’m susceptible to injury more so than anyone else seeing as how I was already injured beforehand and I wasn’t 100 per cent when I came back to begin with.
“A part of rehab is working your way back and getting yourself to 100 percent, so at the end of the day going back and turning things up as quickly as we’re about to do, and pretty much going to playoff formation and playoff games after eight games, I’m more susceptible to injury than anyone else is. So, it’s not about now, it’s about longevity.”
Teams will travel to Orlando, Florida between July 7-9 to begin training camps before restarting the season on July 30. Wednesday is the deadline set by the NBA for players to opt out of the restart of the season.
Oladipo did not opt out, but president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said on Tuesday the Pacers are likely to place him on the roster of eligible players unless he comes to a final decision about his participation.
“I haven’t made a decision just yet. Just taking it one day at a time,” Oladipo said.
“I feel like when the day comes, I’ll know. I appreciate my teammates and this organisation for backing me and supporting me with whatever decision I make but at the same time, I’m focused on me getting as strong as possible and getting where I’m at.
“Like I said, I’m taking it one day at a time and hopefully I can make a decision soon. We’ll see.”
In the 13 games Oladipo played after making his comeback, the 28-year-old averaged 13.8 points, 3.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.