The risk of playing in the NBA bubble on the heels of rehabbing a quad tear didn’t add up for the Indiana Pacers’ All-Star guard.
As of Monday, he’s in. Inside the bubble, at least. And according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, there’s “optimism in his playing status” for the NBA reboot at Disney World scheduled to start July 31.
Report: Oladipo practicing inside NBA bubble
Charania reports that Oladipo has been a full participant in Indiana’s five-on-five scrimmages at Disney World and may be ready to help the fifth-place Pacers as they eye the playoffs.
It’s a surprising report considering Oladipo’s statement to Charania on July 3.
“With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact setup of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing,” Oladipo said. “I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.”
Oladipo struggled in initial return
Oladipo, 28, has played since tearing his quad. He returned to the Pacers lineup on Jan. 29 after a layoff of more than a year from the debilitating injury. But he wasn’t anywhere near his All-Star form. Oladipo averaged 13.8 points and three assists while shooting 39.1 percent from the floor in 13 games back before the NBA’s COVID-19 shutdown.
The hiatus gave Oladipo the opportunity to continue focusing on rehabilitating and addressing the soft tissues concern that come with a ruptured quad tendon. But as basketball with stakes is set to return, it appears that Oladipo is rethinking his priorities.
More from Yahoo Sports: