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How will Indiana Pacers move on without Paul George?

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It was one of those injuries that fans will remember for a long time. An ugly break that wasn't immediately replayed but any fan could find it within seconds online.

You can watch it here if you like. I will spare you embedding it. Essentially, his leg got caught on the basket support after he tried to block a shot and he had a clean break of both lower leg bones on live TV.

Now, the question is whether Indiana Pacers two-time all-star Paul George will ever come back.

The Pacers, for one, believe he will make a full recovery. It just could take more than a year.

In a press conference this week, the team said they think he can make a full recovery.

"It's bad enough for the franchise, but I feel so bad for Paul because I know how hard he works, how much it meant to him to play for his country," Bird, the Pacers' president of basketball operations, told the Associated Press. "All he cared about was trying to get better."

The gruesome injury

The actual injury was on-par with those epic injuries of Washington quarterback Joe Theismann when he got taken down and injured by Giants defensive end Lawrence Taylor.

Or, some have compared it to Louisville's Kevin Ware. Ware was able to recover and come back to play.

But that didn't prevent the injury from making a lot of all-time top 10 lists online along with guys like Willis McGahee and Marcus Lattimore.

Patience will pay off

Though George has yet to talk publicly since the injury, the team has said that it will exhibit patience during the recovery period.

It simply wouldn't make sense to rush him.

"It's going to be up to our doctors, our medical staff and Paul, but we would never put him in a situation where he'd be uncomfortable," Bird told the AP. "If he can play and he's healthy to play, he'll play. If our doctors think he'll play at 60 to 70 percent, we wouldn't do that."

The team applied for a disabled player salary cap exception and were granted the $2 million break, which could be a $5.4 million break if it was just for a one-year deal.

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Now what?

One player the Pacers have already met with is free agent Shawn Marion.

They also expect to move around some of the guys they have, with George Hill playing shooting guard and C.J. Watson and Rodney Stuckey sharing the point guard role.

"You just can't replace Paul George," Bird told AP.

"Losing Paul George is going to hurt you for a while," Pacers coach Frank Vogel added. "But we also want to make sure he has the pieces in place when he comes back."

Topics:
Indiana Pacers
Eastern Conference
NBA

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