Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren played in only four games last season because of a stress fracture in his left foot, and sadly it does not appear as though he has fully recovered. The Pacers released a statement on Tuesday revealing that Warren’s recovery is still ongoing, but he is not yet ready to return to the floor.
“Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren’s stress fracture in his left foot is healing during the rehabilitation process; but not at the pace previously anticipated,” the team wrote in the statement. “He remains out indefinitely, and further updates will be provided as warranted.”
Warren himself commented on the news through Twitter. “Pacer fans,” Warren began. “Just wanted you to hear this straight from me. I’m making sure I do this rehab process right so that I can get back on the court as soon as I can and be the best that I can.”
Warren was one of the breakout stars of the Orlando bubble. In his first five games at Disney before his injury problems began, Warren averaged 34.8 points on more than 60 percent shooting. He has been unable to build on that success, though, as he hasn’t played in a game since December 2020. Returning at full strength will be crucial for Warren this season, as he is set to become a free agent in the summer of 2022. Given the severe threat foot injuries can pose, caution is therefore the wise approach.
But an extended absence will only further weaken a Pacers team that has been decimated by health issues in recent years. Victor Oladipo’s last two full seasons in Indiana were ruined by injuries. He was traded for Caris LeVert, who had to miss several months after a small mass was found on his kidney during his trade physical. LeVert is now OK, but with Warren still out it has been several years since the Pacers have been able to put a fully healthy team on the floor.