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Victor Oladipo reportedly hopes to return to Pacers in about a month

Victor Oladipo

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers seen on court prior to the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 12, 2019 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 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 conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Pacers said Victor Oladipo was “still a ways away” from returning from a knee injury.

What does that mean?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Victor Oladipo is hopeful to return to the lineup by early February -- and perhaps as soon as late January -- from a ruptured right quad tendon, league sources told ESPN.

Whether or not this is good news depends on your perspective. Oladipo got hurt last January. As of last summer, the Pacers reportedly hoped he’d return in December or January. The latest update didn’t sound encouraging.

Indiana is 21-10. Malcolm Brogdon is starring as lead guard. Domantas Sabonis is stepping up inside. Plenty of other players are providing quality depth.

But Oladipo raises the Pacers’ ceiling. Before getting hurt, he played the best defense among high-scoring guards. If he regains his form and he and his teammates acclimate to each other, Indiana could be dangerous in the playoffs.