Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo will not play for the team for the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida, he told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday.
Oladipo is sitting out, but he will travel to Orlando with the team to do his rehab there. He won’t play, but he will get paid.
He had been hesitant to commit to join the Pacers at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex because of the risk of reinjuring his quadriceps tendon.
“We totally respect and understand Victor’s decision to not play in the restart of the NBA season,” Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “The first priority for our players is, and always will be, their health, whether that be physical or mental health. Victor has looked great in workouts. but the timing of the restart and lack of 5-on-5 activity makes it difficult to for him to commit to playing at the high level he expects with regards to further injury. His future health is the No. 1 priority and we look forward to having him back at full strength for the 2020-21 season.
“This is not a unique situation for out team, playing without key players like Victor and Jeremy Lamb. This team has shown great resolve in responding to adversity and we fully expect this will be no different. We remain excited about what they can accomplish in Orlando.”
The 28-year-old Oladipo appeared in 13 games during the 2019-20 season before the coronavirus pandemic suspended play. He was averaging 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in a career-low 25.9 minutes per game as he tried to work himself back into shape after an extended time off for a ruptured quadriceps tendon.
“At the end of the day, it takes time for your body to heal,” Oladipo said earlier this week. “… 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% when I came back to begin with.
“A part of rehab is working your way back and getting yourself to 100%, 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.”
The Pacers (39-26) are currently the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. Their first game of the resumption of the NBA season is set for Aug. 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers.