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Paul George's Recovery and Return to the Game He Loves

On August 1, 2014, Paul George suffered a compound fracture to his right tibia and fibula during a USA Basketball intra-squad scrimmage. The horrific injury had the potential to end George’s career, but ultimately it may have served to strengthen his resolve and propel him to new physical limits.

“It’s been a journey; it’s something I had to go through,” said George, who is back on the court full-time for the start of the 2015-2016 season. “It made me stronger as a person.”

Within days of the injury, Indiana Pacers trainer Carl Eaton had mapped out a plan with George. The player’s gradual progression back to the court involved increasing the load he would bear on his leg — from crutches to an underwater treadmill and, finally, an elliptical machine. From there, George fundamentally had to learn how to walk and run again.

George’s long and measured recovery and return also comprised the six-game stint he played to close out the 2014-15 season. Each stage was a step towards returning full time to the game he loves.

“Basketball is not a job; it’s not my work,” George explains. “It’s just what I love to do.”