news 4 days ago

Recovered from COVID-19, Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon won't face Sixers tonight due to neck injury

The Philadelphia Inquirer — Marc Narducci The Philadelphia Inquirer

Aug. 01-- Aug. 1--Few people have had such a whirlwind journey to the NBA's restart than Malcolm Brogdon, who won't play against the 76ers tonight due to a neck injury.

The Pacers point guard injured his hip and missed the last three games leading up to the NBA's stoppage on March 11. He then had a prominent role in protesting social injustice in his hometown of Atlanta.

On June 24, it was announced that he contracted COVID-19.

"He got hurt in the game on Tuesday (against San Antonio) and went to the basket and one of the players fell on his neck and has been stiff the last two days, and tried to do running and can't turn his neck," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said in his pre-game Zoom interview. "We hope it will calm down in the next day or two and will be ready for our next game."

Brogdon was listed as questionable on Saturday's injury report with a cervical strain, but he did participate in the morning shootaround, according to teammate T.J. Warren.

During practices at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla., Brogdon has been wearing a mask.

"It is something I did for my conditioning and just to be considerate of the guys just in case guys are worried about me previously contracting the virus," Brogdon said in an earlier Zoom call during training camp. "Just wearing it to be cautious and make guys feel comfortable."

Brogdon feels fortunate to be back on the court.

"I had mild symptoms," he said. "I had a fever, had a headache, there are people that have come down with the virus and had it way worse than I did, so I am very fortunate, very blessed I got over the virus and feel great and back to 100 percent."

Brogdon was part of Black Lives Matter protests in his hometown of Atlanta following the death of George Floyd.

Among the messages he delivered to the crowd was: "I got a grandfather (John Hurst Adams) who marched next to Dr. King in the '60s, he would be proud to see us all here. We got to keep pushing forward."

Brogdon also wrote a guest column for USA Today titled: "When protests fade, here's what we must focus on as Americans." In an earlier Zoom interview, he expanded on the importance of his message.

"Everything that is going on is to make the country better, is for people to see the humanity in the Black community and Black people specifically," Brogdon said. "To stop discrimination, stop all racial profiling, stop all these things going on and to actually change the system."

Brogdon, 27, played his first three seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. He beat out the Sixers' Dario Saric and Joel Embiid to win the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year award.

Last summer, he was acquired by Indiana in a sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks.

In 49 games this season for the Pacers, Brogdon, who is also an excellent defensive player, has averaged 16.3 points and 7.1 assists. During the three games against the Sixers, of which the Pacers have won two, Brogdon has averaged 16.3 points and 5.7 assists.

It's been quite a journey to get to this point for Brogdon, who began his season Oct. 4 in the first of two preseason games against the Sacramento Kings in India.

"For sure," he said about the unusual season. "Taking that international game in the beginning of the season for me, playing on a new team, adjusting to everybody, having a few injuries pop up and then having the season canceled and having to restart in the bubble, I don't think there will ever be another season like this. Hopefully not, but this season has definitely been a lot."

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, who originally said he would not play in the NBA's restart, is with the team after an apparent change of heart. He played in all three scrimmages, averaging 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds.

McMillan said before the game that Oladipo will play tonight.

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