(Reuters) – Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George is recovering in a Las Vegas hospital following successful surgery on a horrific leg injury in a USA Basketball game, the National Basketball Association team said yesterday.
“Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic,” Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said in a statement.
“We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery.”
George, the Pacers’ key player, suffered an open fracture of the tibia and fibula bones in his lower right leg, USA Basketball said, when he contested a layup attempt by Houston Rockets’ James Harden in a practice game on Friday in Las Vegas.
The game was cancelled and George had surgery later that night.
“I’ll be ok and be back better than ever!!!” George said on Twitter.
U.S. media speculated that because of the seriousness of the injury it could be months before George is back on his feet and that his 2014-15 season could be in jeopardy.
Bird declined to comment on a timeframe for George’s return to the court.