Paul George eyeing mid-March return for Pacers

Paul George eyeing mid-March return for Pacers

NEW YORK – Indiana Pacers guard Paul George told Yahoo Sports he is eyeing a mid-March return that could be as early as the team's March 14 game against the Boston Celtics.

George hasn't played since sustaining a compound fracture in his right leg on Aug. 1 while playing in an exhibition game for USA Basketball. He says he expects to begin practicing in early March and hopes to be ready in the middle of that month. If all goes well, George mentioned the home game against the Celtics as a possible return.

"March 1 isn't when I wanted to play my first game, but when I wanted to be full-out practicing, doing up-and-down full court without any restrictions or limitations," George told Yahoo Sports. "From there on, it's seeing how far I can progress to where I play my first game. My hope is it's an opponent where I feel comfortable coming back to where there isn't too much pressure to perform, where I can ease my way back in. But I want to say around mid-March, I could probably come back around that time."

The Pacers (21-33) are currently two games out of the eighth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. George says he could envision a first-round matchup with the Pacers playing against the Atlanta Hawks or LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. George was an All-Star last season averaging a career-high 21.7 points.

"That would be ideal," George said about playing Atlanta or Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. "I think if that happens the story kind of writes itself. That would be ideal, especially if we go against Atlanta in the first round because we were the first seed last year. That's a rematch they want for sure as well."

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