The Indiana Pacers added a true big man in Kyrylo Fesenko last week following Jeff Foster's retirement. The Ukrainian center with limited NBA experience isn't expected to be available for the Pacers for another few days. He is dealing with a return to the court from a knee injury and as Mike Wells tweets, he's also dealing with visa issues.
Center Kyrylo Fesenko, who the Pacers signed last week, won't make his debut with the team for about a week. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Fesenko has some visa issues to get resolved before he'll be able to play. "He'll be able to work with us, but he won't be traveling to road games," Vogel said. "He'll be working with our strength and conditioning coach getting some shots up working on those sort of things."
Red tape aside, Fesenko is pumped to be back in the NBA and real happy to join the Pacers, as Conrad Brunner reported upon Fesenko's arrival at the Fieldhouse.
"I'm so happy to be in the league, I'm so happy to finish the recovery and I'm just really looking forward ... I'm speechless, I'm excited," he said. "Come on, guys, I just met Larry Bird for the first time. This is so awesome. I shake his hand."
Fesenko has impressed in his limited minutes with Utah in the NBA, not with any numbers he's logged in the traditional box score, but instead with the plus/minus defensive numbers he's put up which has the basketball analytics pros raving about his numbers. Of course, at this point in the season the big fella probably won't have many opportunities to add to his defensive sample size but you never know what the playoffs may bring. Foul trouble here a little injury there and the next thing you know Fesenko could be thrust into playing a key stretch of minutes. Knowing he has a game based on defense is a comforting thought for the Pacers to carry as a backup plan.