Via Vigilant Sports, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said George has progressed to the point where he can fully participate in practice.
“He’s practicing full-out now,” Vogel said.”I think he’s done three or four practices now; he’s not at full-strength yet so he’s still got some hurdles to get past before he’s able to get out on to the court and play in games. We’re hopeful that that happens this year. We’ll see how the next few weeks progress.”
There is still no timetable for George's return.
George suffered a compound fracture to his right tibia and fibula during a Team USA scrimmage on Aug. 1.
Paul was practicing with the first-team backcourt of George Hill and Solomon Hill. He has not played this season after suffering a compound fracture during a Team USA scrimmage in August. He has targeted mid-March to make his return to an NBA game.
"I'm hopeful [he plays this season], but a lot has to happen before then," he said.
George sustained a compound fracture to his right tibia and fibula during ta Team USA scrimmage on Aug. 1. The injury required surgery, with the immediate belief that George would miss the entire 2014-15 season. Now that has changed. Team president Larry Bird told reporters earlier in the month that "if he gets healthy and they say he can play and he wants to play, we'll let him play."
The Pacers sit dead last in the Central Division with a 21-33 record at the All-Star break, and may take a cautious approach with his highly anticipated mid-March return. George has been able to work through non-contact drills and will eventually be conditioned back into game shape, with the hopes of him making his season debut next month. George had a breakout season for the Pacers in 2013-14, averaging 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals in 80 games.
With the news of
"George's upside is obvious, as he was a top-10 overall option in all Fantasy formats last season. However, as miraculous as it is that he is even eyeing a return this season, we should be careful not to expect too much from George. He still has to get back into game shape, and though he is still a month out, hasn't yet been cleared for contact in practice. He has a long road ahead of him, and any sign of a setback would probably lead the
If you are fighting for a playoff spot right now, it's hard to justify spending a roster spot on George right now. You know for a fact he won't be able to help you for the next four weeks, which pushes right up against the start of the playoffs in most leagues. Is the upside of a possibly-limited George really worth wasting a roster spot for a month?"
George might be able to carry you through the playoffs, assuming you can get there. However, he will likely have his minutes limited at least at first, and it's hard to see the Pacers pushing him to play on back-to-backs. As enticing as George is sitting on waivers, it is best to lower expectations at this point.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, George said he would like to return in March, which is a time frame Pacers president Larry Bird said could be possible on Tuesday. However, George admitted getting back that soon could be tough to accomplish.
"Ideally, that's a great time where I want to be back," George said. "I'm obviously a long shot away from it. I got so many steps to take before I get to that point. But looking forward, that's when I want to be back."
George said he's been able to practice but not participate in any contact. The biggest thing, he said, is to get conditioned in basketball shape once he's cleared to play again. As for the his fractured leg, George isn't concerned about re-injuring it.
"The only problem I'll have is just getting back to where I was," George said.
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