NBA star Paul George on Friday was dealt a devastating blow to his young, promising career in professional basketball when he suffered a severely broken leg during a scrimmage that featured the league’s current stars playing against its up-and-coming players.
The 24-year-old all-star player is expected to miss all of next season.
George was hurt in Las Vegas when he landed awkwardly after jumping and trying to block a shot during a showcase of USA Basketball, a tune-up of sorts for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Some doctors are speculating that it could take longer than a full year before George can make a return to the NBA.
The Indiana Pacers star underwent immediate surgery to repair an open tibia-fibula fracture and is expected to remain hospitalized for the next few days.
The Indianapolis Star is characterizing the injury as a compound fracture.
The fact that there was apparently no additional damage should reportedly aid his rehabilitation.
The 6’9 forward-guard combo, who is barely one year removed from winning an award for being the most improved player in the NBA, is widely considered one of the game’s best players and was a veritable shoo-in to make Team USA’s final roster this summer.
DISCLAIMER: The video of George’s injury is gruesome, grotesque, and in many ways, gross. You can view it below at your own discretion.
Basketball coaching legend Mike Kyzyzewski, who is charged with assembling Team USA, stopped the game immediately after the injury occurred.
“With the serious injury that we had,” Krzyzewski announced to the assembled crowd, “and the fact that we stopped playing for a long time and, really, in respect for Paul and his family, the scrimmage is done. We want to thank you for your support.”
“There’s no way the game could have gone on under the circumstances,” said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo.
The injury was very similar in nature to the one suffered during a 2013 NCAA tournament game between the Krzyzewski-coached Duke Blue Devils and eventual national champions Louisville Cardinals.
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, a one-time league MVP, was making his own return to the game as a teammate of George’s on Friday after being plagued by a series of knee injuries. Rose can be seen grimacing after the injury in Las Vegas occurred.
George was reportedly “stoic” while trainers responded to his injury on the court. He later tweeted an upbeat message to his followers early Saturday morning.