George suffered compound leg fracture during exhibition game earlier this month.
Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel and president of basketball operations Larry Bird have both insisted that they will not rush Paul George back from injury.
The 24-year-old suffered a compound leg fracture during an exhibition game with Team USA earlier this month, and after undergoing surgery on August 2, he is expected to be sidelined for the entire season during his rehabilitation process.
While there was positive news in the sense that there was no nerve or ligament damage in the break, it is expected that George will miss next season and the Pacers front office are not going to rush him back until the medical staff clear him for activity.
“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,” said Bird, ESPN reports.
“All he cared about was trying to get better.”
While George has yet to speak publicly since the injury, he has shared various messages on social media networks to thank his family, friends and fans for their support during a difficult period in his career.
Doctors who have not examined George believe that a full recovery from such an injury will likely take between 12 to 18 months, but the physicians tending to the Pacers star have suggested that a late-season return should not be ruled out.
However, Bird is exercising caution with talk of a comeback, and he insists that George will not step foot on a court in competitive action until both he and the medical team at the franchise deem him to be fully recovered.
“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 added.
“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.”
Meanwhile, coach Vogel added that George remains in high spirits and although there is a sense of frustration over not being able to play this year, he has been left encouraged by the fact that he is expected to make a full recovery.
However, it remains to be seen what the Pacers opt to do in the coming months in his absence as speculation continues to suggest that they are shopping center Roy Hibbert with an eye on potentially rebuilding the roster.