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Rick Carlisle reveals there is no timetable for Chris Duarte’s return

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Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle on Wednesday revealed that the team does not have a timeline for when rookie Chris Duarte can return to play following a shoulder injury.

Duarte has missed the last two games for the Pacers due to right shoulder soreness. Carlisle said the injury occurred on Nov. 1 against the San Antonio Spurs. Duarte played through it, but the team eventually opted to hold him out.

“(He is) doing better,” Carlisle said. “(We) don’t have any kind of exact timetable. We, obviously, miss him. He is a guy that is an important part of the team for a lot of reasons. Metrically, he rates among our top players — offensively and defensively. Losing a guy like that, for any period of time, is difficult.”

The Pacers have lost two in a row without Duarte in the lineup.

Duarte has emerged as a key player for the Pacers to start the season. He had started in every game prior to Monday, averaging 14.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 40.3% shooting from 3-point range. He ranks fourth in scoring among rookies.

The Pacers have liked what Duarte has brought to the floor. He has given the team a strong scoring option, and Carlisle believes he has also played well on the defensive side of the ball. He said Duarte is a strong on-ball defender at this stage of his career.

Indiana will certainly not rush Duarte back into action too quickly. They will let him rest and get the necessary treatment on his shoulder. The Pacers play every other day over the next few weeks so it is possible Duarte misses another game or two to get his shoulder right.

The Pacers play next on Friday against the Charlotte Hornets.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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