There have been a lot of questions about just how dangerous an opponent the Indiana Pacers would be during the NBA’s restart, with most of them hanging on the return — and return to All-NBA form — of Victor Oladipo. Now the Pacers have another problem.
All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis has left the NBA campus in Orlando “to receive medical treatment for plantar fasciitis in his left foot,” the team announced Friday night. (The story was broken earlier in the day by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who is back from suspension.)
Indiana added that “Sabonis’ availability to return to the campus in Orlando is yet to be determined.” Which doesn’t sound promising.
Sabonis had been trying to play through plantar fasciitis, according to Wojnarowski. If this injury is a flare-up of that (or a tear of the plantar fascia) then the only real cure is rest and time off his feet. The fact Sabonis left the bubble to see a specialist is not a positive sign for his return. Beyond that, foot injuries with big men are especially concerning and are the kind of things will have the Pacers being cautious.
Sabonis averaged 18.5 points and 12.4 rebounds a game this season for the Pacers, proving he and Myles Turner could play together and form an impressive frontline. Sabonis was named to his first All-Star team this year.
Without Sabonis, the Pacers — the East’s five seed entering the bubble but tied with sixth-seed Philadelphia — become less of a threat. Whether this impact’s Oladipo’s decision to play remains to be seen.