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Pacers center Isaiah Jackson will be out for a while after knee injury
He was set to play the entire fourth quarter in Toronto, then he needed assistant off the court after a sudden injury.
The good news is that the Pacers are the deepest at the center position. The bad news is that their young center, a versatile defender who provides a different dynamic in that role, is now sidelined.
Isaiah Jackson, the 22nd pick in the 2021 draft, will miss time after suffering an injury to his left knee late in their loss Wednesday night to the Toronto Raptors.
“Isaiah’s gonna be out for a while,” head coach Rick Carlisle said after practice on Thursday in Toronto. “I don’t think I’m at liberty to say exactly what’s been found yet because there’s going to be a second opinion.
“He’s in good spirits. He’s walking in a brace so that’s good news compared to the severity that there could have been.”
Jackson, who’s just 19 years old, was actively involved in the game. He was pressuring full-court and committed consecutive fouls on the defensive end. Then on the other end, after receiving a pass from guard T.J. McConnell, Jackson took two dribbles from the right arc to get into the paint, where he attempted a runner from eight feet.
He missed with 2:19 left, jumped to try for the rebound and when he came down, Domantas Sabonis’ right leg made contact. Jackson clutched at his left knee and managed to walk back to the bench, then crumbled to the court in pain.
He put his arms around athletic trainers Carl Eaton and Patrick Gilbert, and slowly made the walk back to the locker room at Scotiabank Arena.
Watch what happened below.
The Pacers’ rookie center was not in the rotation because of the depth ahead of him, but he runs the floor well, provides a jolt of young energy and is a threat at the rim. He was ahead of Goga Bitadze in the rotation entering the season.
Now he’s going to be out for a while.
The Pacers are traveling to Brooklyn Thursday afternoon and will play the Nets Friday night before returning to Indianapolis.
Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon also exited the game early. He suffered a left hamstring strain with 8:54 remaining in the third quarter, and has already been ruled out against the Nets.
A strain to his right hamstring caused him to miss the final two weeks of the regular season last May. He's averaging team-highs 23.4 points and 7.0 assists per game, and just signed a contract extension 10 days ago.
This will lead to additional playing time for guard Brad Wanamaker, and the team is hopeful that Caris LeVert will make his season debut this weekend.