Danny Granger injury: Frank Vogel says Pacers forward 'on schedule' for return

Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

The Pacers are hoping a healthy Granger can push them past the Heat.

The Indiana Pacers were in the midst of their best season in nearly a decade, but their success came while former star player Danny Granger battled with patellar tendinosis, a degenerative knee condition.

The Pacers are hoping Granger can make a full recovery this year, hopefully bolstering an already excellent squad that saw Paul George and Roy Hibbert blossom throughout the year and into the postseason.

Head coach Frank Vogel has good news on that front, too, revealing in an interview on ESPN 1070 The Fan that Granger is right where he should be in his rehab:

"It's really exciting. Danny is on schedule, looks really good, he's making progress each week and we're hoping that were going to be having  a full-strength Danny Granger this year to add to this team that made a lot of noise last year."

Granger was the unquestioned star of Indiana prior to his injury, leading the team in scoring for five consecutive seasons. That torch has seemingly been passed to George, however, and Granger will likely have to accept a lesser role upon his return. That lesser role could even mean coming off the bench as a sixth man, although Granger has said that he expects to start and Lance Stephenson has expressed a willingness to return to the bench after starting 72 games last season.

Regardless of whether he starts on the court or on the bench, a healthy Granger could mean big problems for the rest of the Eastern Conference. Granger might not be quite as prolific as he was pre-injury, but having another solid scorer in the lineup makes the Pacers even more dangerous ... especially with their rebuilt bench.

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