Barring a setback, Paul George will play in Game 3 as the Pacers look for a win against the Miami Heat on Saturday in the Eastern Conference Finals. Dwyane Wade's knee made contact with the back of George's head while the latter made a dive for a ball Wednesday night. George then struck his forehead on the floor. Reports say he blacked out after the injury, and he was diagnosed with a concussion. That means going through NBA protocols before he can play again.
Friday evening, the team said in a release George was cleared to resume basketball activities and play in Saturday's game, "barring unforeseen complications." The team says George passed every step of the NBA's protocol for a player to return from a concussion.
George said he hasn't felt any lasting effects like blurred vision since experiencing the concussion in Game 2 on Wednesday. He hasn't had any symptoms in two days, he said.
"Just going through all the stuff that I need to go through to be cleared. Battling through that as well as trying to stay sharp at the same time. It's been a rough two days but I've been able to rest a little bit as well," he said. George says it's the first time he's had a concussion.
George said the Pacers can win in Miami. "We've got so many weapons on this team. When one guy goes down, this team really comes together. Although I want to be out there and I'd like to be out there, I still feel confident not being out there that we'll still come away with a win," he said.
When asked if he could put a percentage on the likelihood of his playing Saturday, George responded, "I want to say a hundred that I could and possibly should be out there."
George said he didn't expect to be too tired if he has to play Saturday night after finishing the tests required to be cleared after his concussion. He's done a few tests so far but still needs to do a few more to be cleared.
As for wearing the red jersey at practice, George said the other players have been teasing him by calling him "Peyton." That remark got a laugh from reporters.
WTHR's Jason Spells will be covering the Pacers when they're on the road this weekend. Follow Jason on Twitter for updates and watch WTHR for game previews and recaps.