INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird and Head Coach Frank Vogel said they expect Paul George to make a full recovery after suffering a serious leg injury in Las Vegas.
George was injured while playing in the U.S. national team's intrasquad scrimmage when he jumped to block a fast-break layup and smashed his leg against the bottom of the backboard.
During Tuesday's press conference, Bird and Vogel addressed rumors of replacing George and what his injury means for the team.
"We're not going to replace Paul. You just can't replace Paul George," Bird said. "It's a long process. It was a major injury, but he seems in good spirits. "
"A full recovery is expected and we're wishing Paul the best," Vogel said.
As far as the team's future, Vogel said it was too soon to predict any shake-ups.
"It's too early to say if we're going to change the starting lineup, but we've got options and I'm excited to see how this will play out," Vogel said.
Despite George's setback, Bird said the team will continue to keep in touch with George during his recovery and stay focused on the ultimate goal.
"If he can play, he's going to play. We would never put Paul in a position where we did not feel comfortable. We have a great medical staff and a great training staff. I've been in that situation and I know how tough it is to comeback. If he can play and he's healthy enough to play, then he'll play. That's how we do things here," Bird said.
He also offered hope for fair-weather fans eyeing the next season.
"We're going to do our best to compete hard and make the playoffs," Bird said. "My goal is to win as many games as we possibly can and get into the playoffs. I know some of our fans would rather us go a different direction, but we're here to win and we're going to try to win."