Paul George suffers serious injury


LAS VEGAS -- Indiana Pacers star Paul George suffered a gruesome lower right leg fracture during the U.S. national team's intrasquad scrimmage at UNLV on Friday and underwent successful surgery later that night.

In a statement released after surgery was completed, USA Basketball confirmed George suffered an open tibia-fibula fracture and is expected to remain hospitalized for about three days. Dr. Riley Williams, a Team USA orthopedist who also works with the Brooklyn Nets, was with George.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN that while there was no additional damage besides the fractures, doctors believe George likely will miss all of next season, though no official prognosis has been given.

George's leg landed and then buckled at the base of the basket stanchion after he fouled James Harden on a drive to the basket just 27 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Nearby teammates immediately reacted, with Harden doubling over as George recoiled on the baseline.

Medics, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski and members of George's family who were at the game rushed to his side.

His right leg was put in an air cast, and he was taken to a Las Vegas hospital after being treated for about 15 minutes on the court. His family members accompanied him there.

George later took to Twitter:

The Pacers issued a statement Saturday about George's injury and prognosis. 

"It is way too early to speculate on his return as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery. Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic," president of basketball operations Larry Bird said. "There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back. ... Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time. Our focus is solely on Paul and doing whatever we can to help."

After George left in an ambulance Friday night, the rest of the game -- a showcase scrimmage between players in camp for the U.S. as it looks to trim its roster ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain that begins Aug. 30 -- was canceled.

The White team led George's Blue team 81-71 at the time. The game took place at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center, and a source said the league is investigating the placement of the basket stanchion there. The league standard is for the stanchion and any photographers to be four feet from the baseline. The stanchion at the arena was 3 feet, 11 inches, a source told's Ramona Shelburne.

"This is a tough blow, not only for USA basketball but for the Indiana Pacers," Colangelo said. "And so as an organization we're just going to let a little time go by here before we address rosters. ... It seems so unimportant in the scheme of things. When you have something like this, it puts things in perspective."

George was considered a lock to make the final 12-man roster for the World Cup.

The Americans planned to reduce the 20-player pool to 14 or 15 players Saturday but put off those plans after George's injury.

"Everything's on hold, and it should be," Krzyzewski said. "It would be so inappropriate for us to talk about anything else when there is an injury like this."

No Team USA players were made available afterward. They walked out of the locker room and straight to the team bus.

Reaction to George's injury among his NBA colleagues was immediate, with fellow All-Stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade among those taking to Twitter to express their concern:

Fellow U.S. teammates Harden and Kevin Durant also addressed the injury on Twitter: