For starters, Danny Granger took part as a full participant in practice, according to reports. With time running out on the regular season it appears the Pacers are holding out hope that Granger can return to the court while managing the tendinosis in his left knee which has essentially washed out the regular season thus far save for five game appearances a few weeks ago.
Knee pain eventually forced Granger to shut it down again and now the Pacers will make a last ditch effort to bring Granger back. If 33 responds well tomorrow to the practice effort today, then he may play in Houston or on Thursday in Dallas. But as Frank Vogel mentioned after practice, the team is managing expectations but want to give Granger one more chance.
"I think so," Vogel agreed. "If he re-injures it or it flares up really bad again, then you got to look at some alternatives. I don't want to use the term ‘shutting him down,' but you're at that time. We're definitely hoping that we don't have any setbacks."
While Vogel didn't want to use the term 'shutting him down' there are no other options. In fact, Vogel went on to mention that there isn't enough practice time to allow Granger to fully rehab behind closed doors so his initial game minutes will be part of that rehab.
As for the rest of the injured Pacers, Lance Stephenson (hip flexor) practiced on Tuesday and is the most likely to return to the court in Houston. George Hill and David West both sat out practice and aren't expected to play on Wednesday but hope to return before the trip ends. West didn't take part in the team practice but did get some work in on the court after practice.
While it is easy to say, just shut 'em all down until the playoffs, there are plenty of other factors in play. It would be helpful for all of the players to go into the playoffs with as many games under their belt as possible and to finish the regular season with their playing rhythm ready to go full throttle. Plus, the standing are hardly static at this point so the more wins the Pacers can log the better.
For now though, the Pacers and their full starting lineup are day-to-day and will likely remain that way until returning to the Fieldhouse next week.