In fact, he’s eying a much earlier return date.
George, via Mark Montieth of Pacers.com:
“It’s very possible that I can play (this season),” George said. “I’ve talked to all the guys and said, ‘Man, you guys have to get in the playoffs. That’s the best chance I’ve got of coming back and playing this year.’ I’ve already got it in mind that I could miss this whole year. I’m come to peace with that, but I’d love to be able to come back and play again.”
I don’t have access to George’s medical file. Even if I did, I wouldn’t be qualified to assess it.
However, the Pacers received a disabled-player exception for George. That means an NBA-appointed doctor determined it’s “substantially more likely than not” George can’t play through June 15.
Indiana acquiring that exception won’t preclude George returning if he beats the prognosis, but it’s a strong indicator he won’t return this season.
The Pacers are unlikely to make the playoffs, let alone advance deep into them. That only further limits George’s margin for error.
I like that George has this goal. It will help his rehab to shoot for a closer target than the start of the 2015-16 season.
But I’ll be (pleasantly) surprised if he plays this season.