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The readiness of Victor Oladipo‘s surgically repaired quad will determine whether the Indiana Pacers star participates in the NBA‘s planned restart in Orlando, Florida, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Oladipo returned to the court in January, a little over a full year after suffering a ruptured right quad tendon. Wojnarowski reported the two-time All-Star “plans to ramp up activity” with his team over the next week before making a decision about his availability.
“I feel a whole lot better,” Oladipo said. “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.”
Prior to the suspension of the 2019-20 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oladipo had averaged 13.8 points and 3.0 assists across 13 appearances. He was clearly working off some rust, shooting 39.1 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from three-point range.
The NBA announced June 4 that its Board of Governors agreed to a plan for 22 teams to travel to Walt Disney Resort to finish out the season. Play is tentatively scheduled to resume July 31.
The proposal doesn’t have universal approval among players, and a rise in coronavirus cases in Florida has only added to concerns. According to the Miami Herald‘s Carli Teproff, Florida announced 4,049 more cases on Saturday, setting a new single-day record.
Players in Oladipo’s position also have to consider whether participating in meaningful games after such a long layoff is in their best interests health-wise.
More than a year has passed since Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals, yet the Brooklyn Nets star has already ruled himself out. The same goes for Washington Wizards star John Wall, who underwent surgery on his Achilles in February 2019.
Unlike Durant and Wall, Oladipo has made a full return, but Kawhi Leonard’s continued load management shows how much maintenance long-term injuries can require long after they’ve healed.
Wojnarowski noted the Pacers and Oladipo could hold off their final determination until July. Indiana would have to list him as an active member of its roster by Wednesday’s deadline, though.