Paul George doesn't blame Team USA

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Paul George said he expects to make a full recovery from the gruesome lower right leg fracture he suffered a couple of weeks ago during a Team USA scrimmage.

George spoke to reporters Friday afternoon for the first time since the injury. He said he is trying to stay positive and make the most of a tough situation.

"I plan on making a full recovery coming back from this," George said at a news conference. "I'm taking this in a positive way. I get to sit back and watch the game -- and just learn."

The timeline for recovery is unknown, George said, but added that he can start some knee rehab as early as next week.

George was injured when he attempted to block a shot on a fast break and crashed into a basketball stanchion, snapping his leg. The accident raised questions about whether the support was too close to the court and generated debate about whether NBA stars are risking too much by representing the U.S.

George said he does not blame USA Basketball for the injury.

"Freak accidents happen," he said. "USA Basketball doesn't deserve any criticism from this."

In fact, George said the 2016 Olympics are a possibility: "Absolutely, it's in Brazil."

George underwent surgery Aug. 2 and returned to Indianapolis on Aug. 5 to recover at home.

He said he knew it was not a good situation when he looked down at his leg.

"When I looked down and saw my bone sticking out, I knew it was bad," George said.

The Pacers have not established a timetable for George's return. But doctors who have not examined George say a full recovery from this kind of injury could take 12 to 18 months.

Larry Bird, the Pacers' president of basketball operations, said earlier this week the physicians who are treating George have not ruled out a late-season return, though the Pacers won't rush him back.

It is missing time with the Pacers that George feels bad about.

"I feel guilty about not being there for the start of (the) season," he said. "To not be a part of that, it hurts. Something I have to live with.

"The last thing I will do is feel like I am not a part of this team because I'm out."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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