In the aftermath of Tuesday night’s Game 2 defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers All-Star swingman Paul George revealed that he “blacked out” following a play in which he was kneed in the back of the head by Heat guard Dwyane Wade. As a result, the Pacers placed George in the NBA concussion protocol, and on Wednesday, the team released a statement surrounding his status.
Here is the full release via the team website.
Tuesday night, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George took a knee to the back of his head during the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference Finals game against Miami. Immediately after the play, George exhibited no symptoms of a concussion and, in response to questions from the Pacers’ medical staff, he denied dizziness, nausea, and issues with his vision. He was also active and aware of his surroundings. As a result, the Indiana medical staff did not suspect a concussion.
Following the game, George stated for the first time that he “blacked out” on the play. As a result of this statement, the team conducted the NBA-mandated concussion assessment, which did not reveal any active symptoms of concussion.
Because of the statement and Indiana’s ongoing evaluation and management of potential concussions, George underwent further testing and evaluation Wednesday morning. He has been diagnosed by the team’s consulting neurologist with a concussion, based on his post-game reporting that he had briefly lost consciousness during the game. He will begin the NBA-mandated protocol for return-to-participation after a diagnosed concussion.
Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, Director of the NBA Concussion Program, has been in contact with the team medical staff and stated, “The Indiana Pacers medical team followed the NBA concussion protocol and there was no indication of concussion during the game. This case illustrates that concussion evaluation is an ongoing process and manifestations of the injury may not always present immediately.”
Placing Paul George in the concussion protocol does not necessarily mean that he will be absent from any court time, and it is a blessing in disguise for Indiana that the series does not resume until Saturday night in Miami. Still, there is now a very real possibility that the Pacers could be without their best player for Game 3 (or beyond), and all eyes will be on George’s status as the team evaluates him during the course of the week.