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Larry Bird discusses Paul George returning this season if Pacers make playoffs

Paul George Contract Extension

INDIINDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 25: Paul George #24 of the Indiana Pacers poses for a picture with Larry Bird the team president of the Indiana Pacers during a press conference at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on September 25, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2013 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

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In October, Paul George called it “very possible” he’d play this season.

Since, the Pacers star has steadily progressed, taking shots and dunking.

Could George actually play this season after his horrific leg injury?

Pacers president Larry Bird sounds open to the possibility.

Bird:

We’ll see where Paul’s at. Still have no idea whether he’s coming back or not, but it seems like every week, he’s getting better and better. So, if we do have an opportunity to get in the playoffs and he can get some games under his belt and get ready to go next year.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel maintains George will likely miss the entire season. An NBA-appointed doctor determined it’s “substantially more likely than not” George can’t play through June 15 – the condition for Indiana receiving its disabled-payer exception. The Pacers are 4.5 games and four teams out of playoff position, so their season will likely end in mid-April.

There are many more reasons to believe George won’t return this season than there are to believe he will.

But it’s interesting Bird would so openly discuss the possibility, even while saying he has “no idea.” Maybe he’s just passively speculating, but it at least makes me wonder whether Bird is planting the seeds for George’s early return.