6:17pm: Sabonis is seeking treatment for plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. The team did not indicate if and when he would return to Orlando, Mannix adds.
4:47pm: Sabonis hopes to eventually rejoin the Pacers in Orlando, but could miss the rest of the season, Wojnarowski writes in his full report at ESPN.com.
4:06pm: Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis is dealing with a significant foot injury and is leaving the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus in order to seek treatment from a specialist, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
Sabonis, who missed Indiana’s first inter-squad scrimmage on Thursday, has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and hasn’t practiced for about a week. Although Sabonis could eventually return to the Disney campus and rejoin the Pacers, Woj’s classification of the injury as “significant” suggests the 24-year-old is unlikely to suit up anytime soon.
If Sabonis is unable to play for the Pacers during the restart, it will be a major blow to the team’s chances of advancing beyond the first round in the postseason. The 24-year-old had a breakout season in 2019/20, averaging a career-best 18.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG, and 5.0 APG in 62 games (34.8 MPG), en route to his first All-Star nod. He also established more chemistry in the frontcourt with Myles Turner as the season progressed.
Speaking of Turner, he missed a couple practices and has been limited recently due to a calf ailment, per Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports and J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter links). Malcolm Brogdon is also coming off a case of COVID-19, while Victor Oladipo has yet to decide whether or not he’ll play this summer.
Oladipo did participate in Indiana’s first scrimmage on Thursday, but said after the game that he remains unsure whether he’ll play in the seeding games and the postseason. If Sabonis is ruled out, it will be interesting to see if that influences Oladipo’s decision.
Given Sabonis’ situation, it’s worth noting that the NBA recently tweaked its re-entry rules for players who are approved to leave the league’s campus for medical treatment. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), those players won’t necessarily have to quarantine for four or more days if and when they return. In fact, they may not have to quarantine at all if certain conditions are met, per Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link).