Indiana Pacers star Paul George was on the road to recovery Saturday after having surgery on his right leg, which was fractured during a freak fall on Friday during a Team USA basketball scrimmage in Las Vegas.
George landed awkwardly against the basket-support stanchion after contesting a layup by Houston Rockets guard James Harden with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter. The rest of the game was suspended by Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
The 6-10 All-Star forward is resting comfortably at Sunrise Hospital, USA Basketball reported in a release Saturday morning. The release said Dr. David Silverberg, Dr. Joseph Yu and USA Basketball team physician Riley Williams of the Brooklyn Nets were present for the surgery.
George posted on his Twitter account after the injury, "Thanks everybody for the love and support. I'll be ok and be back better than ever!!! Love y'all!!"
“This is a first for us in USA Basketball, to have something like this take place,” USA Basketball
Chairman Jerry Colangelo said after the scrimmage. “It's a tough situation for our entire organization, the coaches, the players. Very, very emotional. There's no way the game could have gone on under the circumstances.”
George, who played at Palmdale High and Fresno State, and his Blue team were trailing the White squad, 81-71, when the injury occurred.
“We got all the players together, Jerry addressed them and then I did. Very emotional setting,” Krzyzewski said afterward. “There's a brotherhood in the NBA and to me at moments like this family or brotherhood shows its heart, it shows its depth, and that's what I thought our players showed during that time.”
Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird released a statement Saturday morning saying, “Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time.”
“We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery,” Bird said in the statement. “There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back. Our franchise has had setbacks in its history but has demonstrated the abilities to recover. Paul will provide the example of that off the court and it is up to the rest of us to provide that example on the court. Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time. Our focus is solely on Paul and doing whatever we can to help.”
George's name started trending worldwide on social media after the incident, and several NBA players showed their support for him on Twitter.
Harden was one of many players and fans who took to Twitter after the injury. "Prayers go out to Paul George and his family. Keep ya head up G," Harden tweeted.
Kevin Ware, who suffered a similar injury while playing for the Louisville Cardinals in a 2013 NCAA tournament quarterfinal game against Duke, also sent George his best.
"Minor setback for a major comeback PG," Ware tweeted.
George averaged a team-best 21.7 points per game this past season for the Pacers along with 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Staff writer Ryan Parker and the Associated Press contributed to this report.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times