Indiana Pacers’ Caris LeVert ‘getting closer,’ could return on road trip


Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert could return from an extended absence during the team’s three-game road trip that begins Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeVert, who was acquired in the four-team trade that sent James Harden to the Nets and Victor Oladipo to the Rockets, had been out since a post-trade physical revealed a small mass on his kidney.

“Caris LeVert played in practice today. He’s getting closer and closer, it won’t be too much longer,” coach Nate Bjorkgren told reporters on Thursday. He added that there’s “a chance” LeVert could play during the road trip.

The Pacers play the Phoenix Suns on Saturday and the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

LeVert underwent surgery to treat renal cell carcinoma of his left kidney in late January. The Pacers said at the time that no further treatment was needed.

After a strong start to the season, the Pacers have struggled since trading Oladipo and are in desperate need of a third creator behind Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis.

“[LeVert] looks good. To me, he looks ready to play,” Brogdon told The Indianapolis Star. “A complete game changer. He changes the scouting report. Having another dynamic scorer on the floor can really help this team.”

LeVert, 26, averaged 18.5 points and 6 assists in 12 games for Brooklyn prior to the trade.



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