Paul George’s long road back from a gruesome injury has officially begun.
Hours after suffering an open tibia-fibula fracture in his right leg in Friday night’s Team USA showcase at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, the 24-year-old Indiana Pacers small forward underwent successful surgery at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. The procedure was performed by Dr. David Silverberg, Dr. Joseph Yu and Riley Williams, who is the Team USA physician as well as the lead physician for the Brooklyn Nets. No timetable was given for his recovery, but it’s clear that he’s in danger of missing the 2014-15 NBA season.
“It is way too early to speculate on his return, as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery,” Pacers team president Larry Bird said in a statement. “Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic. We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery.”
George’s injury was felt by the entire basketball community, with his Team USA teammates clearly disturbed by what they had seen and questions instantly arising about what this all meant for the national program that has been on such a fantastic run these past nine years. Since former Phoenix Suns owner and general manager Jerry Colangelo took over as Team USA’s managing director in 2005, star players had made it a priority to take part again and the infamous bronze medal finish in the 2004 Olympics had become a distant memory.