The Indiana Pacers cruised to a win on Thursday afternoon as they capped of 2020 with a 119-99 win over the Cavaliers, but after the game they got some unfortunate news.
T.J. Warren was not active for Thursday’s game as he was officially listed as dealing with a sore foot coming off of Indiana’s loss on Tuesday to Boston, but it appears the injury is worse than just discomfort. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Warren has a fractured left foot that will require surgery and keep him out indefinitely.
Indiana Pacers forward TJ Warren will undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot, sources tell ESPN. He will be out indefinitely.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 31, 2020
Warren was one of the stars of the NBA Bubble and after a quiet opener against New York seemed to be finding his stride once again with outings of 23, 17, and 17 points in the next three games. Now, the Pacers will have to turn elsewhere for scoring punch from their small forward spot. Against the Cavaliers, they turned to Aaron Holiday to step into the starting lineup and Doug McDermott found himself with a major role, and the two combined for 30 points in Warren’s absence.
They’ll need McDermott to continue his strong play to start the season, as well as both of the Holiday brothers, Aaron and Justin, who both figure to take on larger roles as the rotation for Nate Bjorkgren will shuffle. Hopefully Warren will make a full and speedy recovery and can pick back up where he left off to end 2020 whenever he returns, as his presence is important for the Pacers balanced scoring attack.