INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 25, 2016)- In the third quarter of the Pacers' game against the Pelicans Thursday night, Paul George took a hit to his right leg and did not return to the game. Alonzo Gee's knee seemed to awkwardly collide with George as Gee was driving to the hoop. The concerning part is that it's the same leg that George broke a little over a year and a half ago.
"It was just scary getting hit there in general," George said as he recalled the play. "It was the first time getting hit in that area and it being in the part of the muscle. It was the first time feeling pain in it, in a long, long, long time."
The all-star is day-to-day right now and has been diagnosed with a right leg contusion. Friday afternoon he sat out of practice, but George doesn't seem overly concerned about the severity of the injury.
"I should be alright, from what they're saying its just like getting kneed in the thigh," George reassured the media. "My body tends to heal and heal fast, today it feels better than yesterday and hopefully tomorrow it will feel better than today."
Tomorrow against the Nets, George will be a game-time decision, though it's tough not to be tempted to play given the point the Pacers are at in their season.
"If it makes sense not to play him so that he can heal up his leg, that's what we'll do," head coach Frank Vogel said on Friday.
"I always tell myself, if nothing is broken play through it, at the same time you have to be smart," George said. "We're in a back-to back this is a real serious point in our season right now."
With only 11 games left in the season, Indiana is in full postseason push mode, battling the Pistons and the Bulls for one of the final two playoff spots in the east.
"We know that every game matters and we know that we missed the playoffs by one game last year," Vogel recalled. "Any one of these nights could be that game that is the difference maker, so we're playing with urgency."
"We talked about the east standings a lot, really our season is right now," George said. "These last nine games we gotta finish strong, they're all very winnable."
The Pacers tip off against the Nets on the east coast, Saturday evening at 6 p.m.