Indiana Pacers star small forward Paul George reportedly suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right leg Friday during a U.S. national team scrimmage in Las Vegas.
The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of the intrasquad matchup as George attempted to make a defensive play on Houston Rockets guard James Harden. When George landed, his foot caught against the padding around the base of the basket causing his ankle to buckle beneath him.
Following George’s departure from UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center in an ambulance, the remainder of the game was canceled. By their reactions, it was clear players and coaches were affected by the gruesome nature of the injury.
The U.S. team is in the process of trimming its roster from 20 players to 12 in preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain which is set to begin at the end of August.
In the wake of George’s injury, head coach Mike Krzyzewski reported that all roster decisions are “on hold”. The Indiana Pacers issued a release stating that they are aware of George’s status.
The 24 year-old George was considered a favorite to make the final 12-man roster for the World Cup. Now, with participation in the World Cup out of the question, the main concern becomes whether he will be able to play this NBA season, with recovery expected to take at least six months.
George led the Pacers to a 56-26 record and the Eastern Conference Finals last season, where they lost to the Miami Heat 4 games to 2. He averaged 21.7 points, 3.5 assists, and nearly 7 rebounds per game in the regular season.
The U.S. national team will next practice in Chicago on August 14.