Pacers star Paul George to make season debut on Sunday vs. Heat
The Indiana Pacers star posted a photo of sneakers to his Instagram account on Saturday with the following description: "Game shoes! Time to get some burn Sunday night!!! Can't wait!!!"
George sustained a compound tibia-fibula fracture during a Team USA intrasquad scrimmage in August. He underwent surgery and was expected to miss the 2014-15 season, but had since indicated that he hoped to play at some point.
George returned to Pacers practice on Feb. 26 and said he hoped to play in games in March. The Pacers on Saturday released a statement about George's return
"The recovery has been a long process and this is another step in the process," George said in the 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."
Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said George's progress will continue to be evaluated and that his playing time will be limited.
"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."
George, 24, averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Pacers last season, earning All-Defensive team and All-NBA third team honors and his second All-Star appearance.
Indiana (33-43) currently sits 1.5 games back of the Miami Heat for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.