Pacers news: Darren Collison likely to come off the bench, listed as questionable vs. Hawks
Indian Pacers point guard Darren Collison has missed his team’s last 11 games, but is now closing in on a return. He has reportedly been able to go through practice again recently, and his status has been upgraded to questionable for Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. Should he be able to suit up by then, he is expected to come off the bench until he is back to 100 percent, according to Mark Montieth of Pacers.com.
. @Darren_Collison upgraded to questionable for Friday game vs Atlanta. Sounds like he'll be a gametime decision. He practiced with the second unit today. Will start when he's full strength again.
— Mark Montieth (@MarkMontieth) March 8, 2018
The 30-year-old UCLA product has remained on the shelf since early February, after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. He was initially slated to miss two to three weeks of action, and has been able to recover as scheduled. Collison feels positive that he can play on Friday, and added, via Clifton Brown of the Indy Star, that he has put in a lot of work recently.
“I had a chance to get up and down with the guys the past few days,” said Collison. “A lot of hard work trying to get back in shape. I feel really good about (Friday).”
“I’m excited just to get back on the court, try to help my teammates anyway I can. This is an important stretch for us.”
Collison’s return will be a huge boost to the Pacers, which can further strengthen their bid to make it to the playoffs. With only 17 games left on their schedule, they continue to be one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season, as they are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Entering the season, not a lot of people thought of them as a team that will contend for a postseason berth, but they have proven their doubters wrong.
Before getting injured, Collison was enjoying another solid season, with averages of 12.8 points, on 49.5 percent from the field, to go along with 5.3 assists. Should Collison return on Friday, he is expected play behind Cory Joseph, who is their current starting point guard.