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Victor Oladipo will return to Pacers’ lineup vs. Blazers after missing 2 games due to back injury

Pacers, Victor Oladipo

Following his quad tendon rupture in Jan. 2019, two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo made his return for the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 29 last month. A sore lower back then sidelined the 27-year-old former Most Improved Player for two games (a loss against the Toronto Raptors and a win against the Charlotte Hornets).

Oladipo will return to the Pacers’ lineup on Thursday night in Indiana’s home matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers, head coach Nate McMillan announced, per the team’s official Twitter account.

Since making his 2019-20 season debut back from injury, Oladipo has appeared in eight games, making five starts for the Eastern Conference club. In eight games he’s averaged 10.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 25.0 minutes a contest, shooting 33.3 percent from the field, 25.0% from 3-point range, and 76.5 percent from the free throw line.

While Oladipo has looked shaky in his return to the hardwood, the Pacers are hoping the injury is behind the former second-overall pick from the 2013 NBA Draft and can contribute to a playoff-bound Indy team with high aspirations following the ascension of power forward Domantas Sabonis, who made his first All-Star team this year, along with last offseason’s acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon, a former Rookie of the Year winner.

Further, Oladipo’s re-return could help ameliorate the loss of Jeremy Lamb, a promising wing signed last summer, who tore his ACL in Sunday’s defeat to the Raptors. Lamb had been averaging 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game for the Pacers and was a fixture in the starting lineup before Oladipo’s return from the quad rupture.