Pacers' Paul George hopes he can return from broken leg this season

Indiana Pacers star Paul George is 'holding out hope' he can play this season after suffering broken leg

Indiana Pacers star Paul George says he hopes to play at some point this season despite suffering a horrific compound fracture to his right leg earlier this month.

During a news conference Friday, George spoke at length about the injury publicly for the first time, saying he was doing everything he could to speed up his recovery. Still, he conceded that the "freak accident" is likely to keep him away from the Pacers for the entire 2014-15 season.

"All I can do at this point is sleep, watch TV and lay down, so it's tough for me," George said. "The last thing I want to do is feel like I'm not part of this team because I'm out. I'm holding out hope, just personally, because I want to be back."

George was injured when he collided with a basketball stanchion during a U.S. National team exhibition game in Las Vegas. George, who grew up in Palmdale and was a star at Fresno State before being drafted by the Pacers in 2010, said he's only seen the replay of the injury once and will not watch it again.

“When I looked down and saw bone sticking out, I knew it was bad,” George said. “I'd felt pain before, but I have never felt pain like that."

George, 24, has been told by his doctors that he will probably make a full recovery, but his prospects of playing this season are virtually nonexistent. Pacers management is planning for life without their leading scorer this season.

"This was going to be a huge year for me, so for me not to be out there at the beginning, I do feel a little guilty about that," George said. "It hurts."

As for whether the injury will affect how he approaches the game, George is confident that he will continue to embrace the same aggressive style that earned him the 2013 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year.

"I never play the game with any hesitation, that's probably why I'm in this cast," George said, drawing laughter. "I'm not looking at this as something negative for my career. It's something I can overcome and it will be a great opportunity to sit back and watch and learn the game."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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