Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo will be on a minutes restriction when he makes his season debut against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Oladipo will be on the floor for the first in 12-plus months after suffering a serious quadriceps injury during a game against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 23, 2019.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan didn't reveal how many minutes Oladipo will be limited to against the Bulls but said the plan will be in place through next month's All-Star break.
"There will be a restriction on his minutes for the next couple games," McMillan told reporters. "I'm not giving away the game plan (for Wednesday), but there will be a restriction."
Oladipo, a two-time All-Star, understands the process, but he promised that it won't be long before he is back to the form that made him one of the top guards in the NBA.
"Obviously, I got to go out there and play and get used to the game and get my legs under me and everything like that," Oladipo told reporters. "My mentality is completely different. There is no doubt in my mind that I'm going to better than I was. I'm not saying that will be tomorrow night, but it is going to happen.
"That is just my belief in myself. Honestly, I don't care what anybody else thinks or how long it takes or the criticisms that come with it. I don't care. That's part of life. I'm just going to attack every day like it is my last."
Oladipo averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals in 36 games last season prior to the injury. In his first season with the Pacers (2017/18), Oladipo averaged a career-best 23.1 points and led the NBA in steals (2.4) while also averaging 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
Despite Oladipo's exuberance, McMillan said the coaching staff will take a cautious approach with the 27-year-old.
"We're going to be slow with him. We're going to be patient," McMillan said. "Is he close to the old Vic? There is no way he could be after being off for a whole season."
--Field Level Media