Victor Oladipo is recovering from a leg injury that brought his breakout 2018-19 season to a premature end, but he's making great progress toward a comeback.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan says the star guard's mind is right where it needs to be. His body might need some time to catch up though.
"He's not playing live but he's moving. He's in a good position mentally," McMillan told the Indianapolis Star. "He feels that everything is going well. I like what I see with him. ... He's doing great. He's not doing any live contact, still in that rehab stage of working with the trainers.
"I just know (opening night on Oct. 23) he probably won't be there. The time frame, we have no idea of when he will return."
Despite losing their lone All-Star in January, the Pacers rallied to finish fifth in the Eastern Conference last year.
But it became evident they needed a go-to guy in the playoffs, as they were swept by the Celtics in the first round of the postseason. They didn't add stars this offseason, but did improve depth.
Indiana acquired one of last season's most efficient shooters in Malcolm Brogdon this summer, signing him to a four-year, $85 million deal. The 2017 Rookie of the Year joined the illustrious 50-40-90 club last year while averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
Indiana also traded with the Suns for versatile wing TJ Warren.
But regardless of what their roster looks like in 2019-20, the Pacers expect big things from Oladipo, who averaged 18.8 points per game last year and led the team in scoring for a second consecutive season.
"It was a very unique injury, a very rare injury, so we'll be patient with it," Indiana general manager Chad Buchanan said of Oladipo. "You guys know Vic; he's an ideal worker, so we feel confident that he's going to get back to what he was before."