Indiana Pacers star forward Paul George suffered a gruesome lower right leg fracture during the USA. Basketball National's team's intra-squad scrimmage in Las Vegas on Aug.1. George, who could miss the entire NBA season, underwent successful surgery on Friday night.
In a statement released after surgery was completed, USA Basketball confirmed George suffered an open tibia-fibula fracture and is expected to remain hospitalized for about three days. Dr. Riley Williams, a Team USA orthopedist who also works with the Brooklyn Nets, was with George.
Sources close to the situation told Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com that doctors believe George likely will miss all of next season.
There is good news as the Pacers , while George may miss the entire season, are pessimistic that he will recover fully.
What I've learned through this process is that it's not (career-ending)," Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard told the Indianapolis Star on Aug.2, when he spent time with George at the hospital. "It's actually a good thing. It's bone and bone only. It doesn't look like any soft-tissue damage. We're not trying to project when he's coming back, just trying to get him through this week and then we'll know more, but the biggest risk right now is infection. That looks really good right now. They just changed his dressing and it looks really good.I have no fear he'll be back and back in a big way. We're not going to put a timetable on it but I don't think there's any doubt he'll be back."
The injury occurred with 9:33 remaining in the fourth quarter when George came down hard while trying to contest a shot against James Harden, and hit the hit the basket-support stanchion.
Nearby teammates immediately reacted, with Harden doubling over as George recoiled on the baseline.
Medics, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski and members of George's family who were at the game rushed to his side.
George ‘s leg was put in an air cast and he was treated on the court for 15 minutes before being transported out of the arena on a stretcher.
Following the injury, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced that the intrasquad exhibition would end with the White Team leading the Blue Team 81-71. The game took place at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center.
George has emerged as one of the top all-around players in the NBA and was considered a lock to make the final 12-man roster for the World Cup.
USA Basketball planned to reduce the 20-player pool to 14 or 15 players on Aug. 2. but put off those plans after George's injury. He averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game last season.
"Everything's on hold, and it should be," Krzyzewski said. "It would be so inappropriate for us to talk about anything else when there is an injury like this."
Despite the injury, there were several bright spots some unexpected and others not so much. Harden led the White Team with 15 points while DeMarcus Cousins contributed a double-double -- 11 point and 11 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan added 16 points for the White squad.