Well, so much for the feel-good story of Mike Dunleavy's earlier return to the court after rehabbing his right knee.
After glowing talk about his progress on Friday, Mike Wells reports today that Jim O'Brien doesn't expect Duns to practice again until November after a "grade-2 strain" was detected via MRI.
"(The strain is) on the back of his ligament that only shows up on a MRI," O’Brien said. "It’s going to take some time for that to heal before he can get on the basketball court."
On Friday, it sounded like Dunleavy would practice with the team in a limited capacity as he worked his way back into full-court shape. So what happened on Saturday? Did he practice a little bit and then it flared up? Was something bothering him so he skipped practice to have it checked out? Does the Luther Head signing suddenly make more sense despite prior declarations from the Fieldhouse?
Regardless of the logistics behind the story, this is a blow to the Pacers. Dunleavy is key to all of the flexible playing rotations JOB could utilize with the current roster. Considering it's not yet October and the team is ruling out a return to practice until at least November, you have to wonder just when Dunleavy will actually be ready to play in a game.