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Pacers Links: Pacers back in town, Victor Oladipo back in action

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The Pacers prepare to welcome Oladipo back to game action.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers expect to begin phase two of the three phase season Kevin Pritchard envisioned whenever he discussed Victor Oladipo’s return from injury.

The first phase of the season, incorporating new players and developing an identity without Vic, exceeded all expectations despite ending with a loss in Portland on Sunday. The Pacers sit in at 30-17, on pace for a 52-win season and in a tight playoff race with four other teams for spots 2-6 in the Eastern Conference.

After a day off on Monday, the Pacers will practice today with Victor Oladipo involved in preparations for the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. The team’s injury report still has Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) as questionable and Oladipo as out, but that is expected to change by tip time tomorrow.

The second phase Pritchard outlined now focuses on adding Vic to the mix and managing his minutes as he hopefully builds up his NBA game to resemble his former, feathery self on the court. The final phase has the Pacers running closer to full steam with a team that is primed and ready for the playoffs.

Phase three can’t happen without phase two and all of the variables that have to go well. Fortunately, and remarkably, there have been no reported set backs in Vic’s rehab work with the team and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants over the past few months. He’s always there.

Now it’s time to see how Vic looks in an actual game, a game that has great meaning, as they all do now considering the context of the playoff race.

When will Victor Oladipo return?

With high hopes and measured expectations, we are one day away from officially answering that question.

Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers vs Bulls | Indiana Pacers

Game Rewind: Pacers 129, Trail Blazers 139 | Indiana Pacers

In quiet moments, Pacers, Blazers kept thinking about Kobe Bryant - Indy Star

Victor Oladipo, Pacers face challenges after guard returns from injury - Indy Star

Behind coach Nate McMillan comments about Kobe Bryant and black men - Indy Star

Victor Oladipo return: Pacers get boost in sales for Oladipo's return.

Kobe Bryant's helicopter death: Reggie Miller reflects on Bryant's impact - Indy Star

Blazers’ Damian Lillard Named Western Conference Player of the Week - Blazer's Edge

‘It hit like he was a family member’: Everything felt different for the Pacers after the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant – The Athletic

Kravitz: Indiana’s love/hate relationship with Kobe Bryant ended in the highest form of respect – The Athletic

Fans can sign banner to welcome back Pacers star Victor Oladipo - Indiana Pacers - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Damian Lillard Scores 50 Again as Trail Blazers Defeat Pacers - Blazer's Edge

Instant Analysis: Could Pacers slow down Damian Lillard? Nope - Yahoo! Sports

Remembering Kobe Bryant's Final Trip to play the Indiana Pacers

G League Assignments Help Indiana Pacers Players Get, And Stay, Ready For Their Chance

Aaron Holiday Is (Mostly) Figuring It Out | The Fieldhouse

Bulls vs. Spurs final score: Zach LaVine’s free throws give Chicago 110-109 victory on emotional night - Blog a Bull

Lauri Markkanen out 4-6 weeks with pelvis injury - Blog a Bull

Behind the scenes with the Indiana Pacers’ front office: ‘We have to find value when it’s not there’ | HoopsHype