By Rob Mahoney
October 30, 2012

Danny Granger Danny Granger averaged 18.7 points per game for the Pacers last year. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Rob Mahoney

The preseason has already seen many players with inconvenient injuries and uncertain recovery timelines. Danny Granger is the latest victim; according to the Pacers, Granger is experiencing a soreness in his left knee and will be out of the lineup indefinitely.

That word -- "indefinitely" -- is a frightening one in basketball circles. It doesn't by definition indicate that Granger will be out for an extended period, but it hints that a long recovery could be in the cards. Such worry isn't at all diminished by reports like this one from Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star:

https://twitter.com/MikeWellsNBA/statuses/263300176888856576

The Pacers are talented enough to stay afloat for a spell, and the East is soft enough in the middle to give Indy a cushion. Yet ultimately, this is a completely codependent starting five. Any team built around balance rather than star power runs the risk of a minor injury tilting the entire operation, and the Pacers are vulnerable without Granger counterbalancing the rest of the starters (and vice versa). His injury may be manageable in a regular-season context, but only for so long; if Granger's "indefinite" absence  winds up being a significant length of time, the Pacers could dig themselves into a playoff-seeding hole from which they can't escape.

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