George Hill’s going through a series of tests, not yet cleared for Game 6
George Hill participated in the Pacers’ shootaround Saturday morning, one of the many hurdles he must clear before returning to game action. His status for tonight’s game, where the Pacers look to put an end to their Eastern Conference semifinal against the New York Knicks, is still up the in air.
“Not ruled out, not cleared to play — yet. Game-time decision,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. “There’s a long list of things that’s part of the NBA’s protocol and he’s in the middle of that process.”
Hill, who suffered the concussion on Tuesday in Game 4 of the series, was monitored by the teams’ medical staff and “looked fine,” according to Vogel. But before being cleared, he must remain symptom free during the stages of testing.
“I’m preparing for him not to play,” Vogel said. “And if he plays, I’ll be very happy about it.”
Should Hill not be cleared to play, D.J. Augustin will start once again. This postseason, the Pacers are +61 when Hill is on the floor and they’ve been outscored by 37 points when he’s not (via ESPN).
The Pacers are 5-0 at home during the playoffs and they’ve won every game by at least 11 points. They’ll try to keep that perfect record alive and close the series tonight in front of the home crowd.
“We’re looking at it like this is our one shot (to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals),” said David West. “It’s all or nothing. The whole season comes down to this one game.”
Below is the NBA’s Return-To-Participation Protocol:
- The return to participation protocol involves several steps of increasing exertion — from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills.
-With each step, a player must be symptom free to move to the next step. If a player is not symptom free after a step, he stops until he is symptom free and begins again at the previous step of the protocol (i.e., the last step he passed without any symptoms).
- While the final return-to participation decision is to be made by the player’s team physician, the team physician must discuss the return-to-participation process and decision with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the Director of the NBA’s Concussion Program, prior to the player being cleared for full participation in NBA Basketball.
- It’s important to note that there is no timeframe to complete the protocol. Each injury and player is different and recovery time can vary in each case.