NBA fans will get their first look at Paul George in quite some time when the Pacers and Heat meet on Easter Sunday.
George hasn’t played in a game since August 1st, when he broke his leg in an ugly, freak accident playing for USA basketball in Las Vegas. The Pacers currently trail the Heat for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot by 1.5 games.
“The recovery has been a long process and this is another step in the process,” George said in a statement. “I thank everyone, my family, friends, doctors, our training staff, coaches, the entire Pacers family for their support and encouragement. I’m excited, but at the same time I’m aware I’m still in a rehab stage and will continue to work to get back to full strength.”
George, who averaged 21.7 points per game last season, is joining a Pacers team that has lost nine of their last 12 games. As bad as the Pacers need him, he will be restricted in terms of minutes, according to Larry Bird.
“We’re happy to have Paul back in uniform, and this is just another step in his rehabilitation from the injury,” Bird said. “He has worked hard to get to this point and still has work to do, but it’s a positive step toward what we hope will be a full recovery at some point. His minutes will be limited in games he plays as we evaluate his progress moving forward.”
The Pacers have six games remaining before the end of the season.