Next step for Pacers’ Victor Oladipo: ‘Getting out there and playing’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- As the Indiana Pacers prepare to host the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the timetable for Victor Oladipo's return remains unclear.

The two-time All-Star spoke with media Monday but would not disclose when he expects to compete alongside his teammates.

Oladipo has been rehabbing since January.  He suffered a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee Jan. 23 against the Toronto Raptors and missed the remaining 35 regular season games and the playoffs.  Head coach Nate McMillan says the star guard has been playing as much as possible.

"We know where he is at and the time-frame in which he should be coming back," McMillan said. "Everything is going as planned."

Oladipo says he has avoided any setbacks during rehab.

"I think the next step would have to be essentially getting out there and playing and continuing to build the strength and stamina," he said.  "And eventually, I'll be able to go out there and play at a high level."

Oladipo admits his rehabilitation process has been challenging at times, and he has counted on his family for support.

"Even when it was hard to sleep and I was in pain, it was tough.  But my mother was there," Oladipo said.  "Three in the morning and my leg feels like there's one-hundred needles in it and I have to stand up so the blood can flow through my leg.  My mom was there for me to lean on."

Despite being sideline for the majority of 2019, Oladipo says he has found ways to remain connected physically and mentally to his role with the Pacers.

"I'm a positive butterfly," he said.  "And I'm going to remain that way."

The Pacers and Lakers tip off Tuesday at 7 p.m.  Live pregame coverage airs on FOX59 at 6 p.m.

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