Pacers star Oladipo sets date for season debut

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Victor Oladipo is nearing a return from a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee sustained last season.
Victor Oladipo is nearing a return from a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee sustained last season.

Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo is planning to make his long-awaited NBA return against the Chicago Bulls on January 29.

All-Star guard Oladipo has been sidelined since suffering a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee on January 23 last year.

It has been a long road back for Oladipo, but the 27-year-old is nearing a comeback later this month and he is excited.

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"I just want to let you guys know personally that I plan on making my return on January 29 against the Bulls at home," Oladipo said in a video message.

"It's been a long 12 months, a long journey, but I've learned a lot about myself and I'm going to continue to keep growing because of it. Just want to thank all the Pacers fans, team-mates, coaching staff, family and friends, and my God in Heaven for making these 12 months a learning experience.

"I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing in front of you fans again and playing with my team-mates."

Oladipo told Stadium: "That could change, that might not change, who knows. But it's definitely good to have something to look forward to after 12 months of wondering and hoping and not being sure. Twelve months of the unknown.

"To actually, you know, have something and a goal to look forward to is pretty astronomical for me in this process. I'm way stronger now than I was before, especially mentally. I just feel like nothing can phase me. I've been through the worst. My better days lie ahead."

Prior to last season's injury, Oladipo had been averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in 2018-19.

The Pacers finished last season with a 48-34 record before they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, with Oladipo sidelined.

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