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'Strong possibility' Oladipo will play for Pacers

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Miami (AFP)

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, who had ruled himself out of the NBA restart two weeks ago due to injury, said on Wednesday there's a "strong possibility" he will now play.

The 28-year-old guard, selected second overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, said on July 3 he was planning to focus on rehabilitation on a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee.

After missing more than a year with the injury, Oladipo returned in January and played 13 games, working himself back into shape before the season was halted March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After the layoff, he's making progress and excited about his chances to play when the Pacers resume their campaign.

"I feel like if my body keeps trending up, there's a strong possibility that I might play," Oladipo said. "I'm definitely trying to. I'm coming out here and working hard every day, trying to help my team.

"I'm trending upwards. Hopefully when the time comes to make that decision, it will be easy to make."

Oladipo averaged 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in limited action this season for the Pacers, who at 39-26 are fifth in the Eastern Conference. They return on August 1 against Philadelphia.

"I'm definitely here trying to play and training myself in order to play," Oladipo said. "Hopefully everything goes well and I feel better than I even feel now."

Pacers coach Nate McMillan has not been taking it easy on Oladipo in workouts, hoping he can return to full strength as quickly as possible.

"There are no restrictions on him in practice and that's pretty much were we are right now," McMillan said.

"He has been looking good. He has been working extremely hard. He's a guy that just puts in his work... He has been working hard."

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