Update: Glenn Robinson III played 27 minutes for the Mad Ants and scored 12 points, while adding 3 assists and 2 rebounds.
Indiana Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III’s long rehabilitation from ankle surgery appears to be nearing its final stop: Fort Wayne. Robinson will make his on-court debut today for the team’s G-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
Robinson III has been practicing with the Pacers for just over a week and McMillan said last week that there was a “small chance” that he would return from the ankle injury before the All-Star break.
With this latest update, the odds would appear to be going up, but they may be looking to bring him back slowly and see how his ankle responds to few games with the Mad Ants.
Even if he does return before the All-Star break, don’t expect him to be defending his Slam Dunk title this year.
“This year, unfortunately, the training staff told me that I can’t but we’ll see about the following year,” Robinson III told Grant Afseth of Indiana Sports Coverage. “At least I don’t go out with a loss. I’m out on top and at least it’s not my fault that I can’t do it this year.”
Pacers fans might be able to see All-Star Victor Oladipo compete in this year’s contest, but he hasn’t confirmed the rumors to this point.
Robinson, when he does return, will join a Pacers team that can use more wing depth.
Starter Bojan Bogdanovic struggled in the month of January with a shooting slump (27.5% from 3-point range) and McMillan said he would like to find time for him to rest because he believes fatigue is setting in after playing with his national team and for heavy minutes this season.
Robinson, at minimum, will make it easier for McMillan to find time to rest Bogdanovic. During the summer, many picked GR3 as a potential breakout candidate for the Pacers thinking that he may be able to grab that starting spot at small forward.
The reigning dunk champion worked on improving many aspects of his offensive game this summer and seems ready to put his hard work to the test.
“I think that really, I just take everything from the summer. I worked really hard on ball handling and coming off ball screens,” Robinson told Afseth. “Now when I’m trying to get back, I’m remembering everything I learned and that I worked hard on. It hasn’t gone anywhere, surprisingly. My shot is still there and my handles are still there and getting better. I’ve seen a lot of improvement this summer, so I was a little upset when I got hurt. But if anything, I’m anxious to show everyone what I’ve worked on.”
Last season, he averaged 6.1 points per game on efficient 46% shooting from the field (39% from range) with a low usage rate of 12.8%.
It’s been a slow process for the Pacers young forward as he returns from his first major injury. From getting cleared to shoot and run in December to individual drills in January and now about three months after the injury occurred, full game action.
Rookie Ike Anigbogu and 2-way player Ben Moore are also getting sent down for playing time with Fort Wayne.