Thad Young ready to lead Pacers in Victor Oladipo’s absence

After learning the All-Star guard faces season-ending surgery for a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee, Oladipo's teammates quickly banded together in hopes of surprising the National Basketball Association again. The Pacers announced he would have an MRI on Thursday. Oladipo averaged 19.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game before Wednesday. However, Oladipo's potential loss would be a huge blow to his team, which is in third place in the Eastern Conference but which relies heavily on his scoring and playmaking skills.

The 26-year-old previously missed time earlier this season due to right knee soreness.

Oladipo was hurt as he scrambled back to defend an outlet pass to Toronto's Pascal Siakam and crumpled to the floor awkwardly.

Reaction to the injury poured in quickly across social media. That kid has a lovely spirit about him.

The well-rested Pacers snapped the Raptors' three-game win streak on the second night of a back-to-back set for the visitors, who battled all game long but struggled with execution and lost a touch of steam toward the end. At 19.2 points per game, he is the leading scorer for IN, which sat third IN the Eastern Conference - 2.5 games ahead of the Celtics - entering Wednesday night. "It's emotional, but we have to overcome it and play".


Young's performance in Wednesday's victory - the Pacers' 32nd of the season - particularly impressed coach Nate McMillan.

For now, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that a preliminary examination left the Pacers fearing that Oladipo will need season-ending knee surgery. "But we got the word this morning".

Toronto was led by Serge Ibaka with 23 points and 11 rebounds and Kyle Lowry with 20 points.

Following a trip to Memphis on Saturday, the Pacers return home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to face Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 PM ET.


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