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Pacers star George has successful surgery

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 02 2014 09:25:41 AM MDT
Updated On: Aug 02 2014 04:06:28 PM MDT
Paul George, Indiana Pacers, 2013

Brent Smith/Reuters

Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George had successful surgery on his injured right leg and is resting comfortably in a hospital, USA Basketball announced Saturday morning.

George is expected to remain at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas after having surgery Friday night to repair a broken tibia and fibula.

Dr. David Silverberg, Dr. Joseph Yu and USA Basketball team physician Riley Williams were present for the surgery.

George was injured during Team USA's showcase game Friday night on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

George was sprinting down court early in the fourth quarter to defend a layup attempt by Houston's James Harden when he landed awkwardly on his right leg, causing his leg to buckle and snap above his ankle.

His recovery time before he can return to playing basketball is estimated to be at least 12 months.

"Our first thoughts are with Paul and his family," Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement Saturday. "It is way too early to speculate on his return as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery. Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic. We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery.

"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.

"We still support USA Basketball and believe in the NBA's goals of exposing our game, our teams and players worldwide. This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly-visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere.

"Finally, the Pacers would like to thank our fans and the NBA community for their outreach of support in the brief amount of time since the injury occurred. It has been overwhelming and it is what makes Indiana and the NBA special."

Just after midnight, George tweeted: "Thanks everybody for the love and support. I'll be ok and be back better than ever!!! Love y'all!!"

As medical personnel attended to George, players including Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose and fans inside the Thomas and Mack Center, were visibly upset. George's parents, who were in the arena, rushed to their son's side.

A sobbing Kyrie Irving was consoled by his father. Harden appeared to be in shock.

Saturday was supposed to be a cut-down day for Team USA as the 20-player pool was expected to be reduced to 14 or 15 players, but those plans are on hold after George's injury.

"Everything's on hold, and it should be," Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "It would be so inappropriate for us to talk about anything else when there is an injury like this."

Friday's game was canceled after George was treated on the court in front of a stunned and silenced crowd before being removed on a stretcher.

George, 24, is a two-time All-Star who averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game last season for the Pacers.