The Indiana Pacers lost All-Star guard Victor Oladipo for the season after he ruptured a quad tendon in his right knee during the second quarter of Wednesday night's game against Toronto.
The team initially called the injury "serious" and then released the diagnosis early Thursday afternoon. Oladipo will require surgery at a date to be determined, the team said.
Oladipo's leg bent awkwardly as he fell to the floor while trying to disrupt an outlet pass to the Raptors' Pascal Siakam. The team announced that Oladipo will undergo an MRI on Thursday.
"It is a serious injury and we'll know more after the MRI," coach Nate McMillan said after the game. "We're not going to speculate. It's a tough situation. That kid has a beautiful spirit about him. He has always been one to try and to lift us up. We've got to lift him now."
The magnitude of the injury was obvious quickly.
Trainers placed a towel over the leg, and players from both teams surrounded Oladipo. Fans gave him a standing ovation as he was carted off the floor on a stretcher and reporters were detoured from their normal path to the media work room while Oladipo apparently was being evaluated in the hallway.
"There's no other choice but business as usual," assistant coach Dan Burke told Fox Sports Indiana at halftime. "For 24 minutes, we have to have our focus right here. Our hearts and thoughts might be somewhere else, but we have to focus."
The Pacers held on to beat Toronto 110-106. It was clear, though, that the injury was going to overshadow the rest of the game—if not Indiana's season.
Oladipo, 26, made his first All-Star Game and quickly became a fan favorite last season after being acquired in the trade for Paul George. The former Indiana University standout is the Pacers' top scorer this season at 19.2 points per game and has helped the team become a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.
Reaction to the injury poured in quickly across social media, with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Phoenix guard Devin Booker, Washington guard Bradley Beal and Oklahoma City's George among those who posted expressions of support toward Oladipo.