Granger plays down latest injury setback

Indiana Pacers small forward, Danny Granger, insists the calf injury that will force him to miss the opening three weeks of the NBA season is nowhere near as serious as the problem that forced him to miss most of last season.

The 30-year-old, who has been with the Pacers since 2005, has strained a muscle in his left calf but says it is not a recurrence of the injury that sidelined him for all but five matches last season.

He said: ”It’s not terrible. I can run up and down the court, but when I start jumping it feels like a knot in my calf where I hurt it. The doctors just said to sit out until I didn’t feel it.”

Fans who bet on NBA are hoping that Indiana will improve on last season’s impressive record when they reached the play-offs and were only beaten by eventual champions Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The return of the 6-foot-9 former All-Star Granger was meant to be a key part of the Pacers’ intended improvement, but his continuing injury problems remain a concern.

At the start of last season Granger was told to rest his injured left knee and didn’t play until February before finally opting for season-ending surgery in April.

Even though his return to action is not now expected until the second half of November, Granger remains upbeat, adding: ”The doctors are holding me back because they want it to heal. They said if I had not missed the whole year, they probably would have sat me down for just a week-and-a-half.”

NBA betting pundits have predicted that Granger will miss the Pacers’ first eight games of the season and shooting guard Lance Stephenson is expected to retain his place in the side after impressing last season.

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