Fearing the worst, Glenn Robinson III relieved with injury diagnosis

At the end of practice on Saturday morning, the Pacers gathered at the end of the court at the St. Vincent Center. This was unusual – the location, not the team circling up.

That’s because they always break down practice, and they typically do so at center court before they split up among eight baskets to shoot free throws. But not today.

They went to surround one of their own (as seen in the video below), Glenn Robinson III, who cannot walk or put pressure on his left foot. There he was, leaning against the wall with head athletic trainer Josh Corbeil and sports psychologist Dr. Chris Carr.

Robinson III, who watched practice with his left foot elevated in a boot, is expected to miss approximately eight weeks after sustaining a left high ankle sprain on Friday.

“I was pretty high up but the fall was ugly,” he recalled. “The face on everybody and just what they were telling me, everybody thought it was way worse than what the MRI said, which is good. So I’m just trying to stay positive about that.

“The way I fell, my knee buckled up under me and my ankle was under my knee. It was all messed up. Luckily, I think my ankle took a lot of that pressure so it ended up being more of an ankle sprain.”

Robinson III with Corbeil (in yellow) and Dr. Carr.

He doesn’t remember who he collided with, on that it came after he drove the baseline from the right side and got hung up in the air. Then, down he went.

“Ah man, yesterday was tough,” said starting center Myles Turner. “… It’s just hard seeing someone work so hard all summer then have it fall short like that in training camp.”

“It looked pretty bad. I’m glad that it was only mild. Nothing broke, nothing fractured or anything like that. It was good news.”

Said Robinson III: “My adrenaline was running at first so I didn’t even feel nothing. I was just hoping, praying that it wasn’t an ACL [injury] or nothing like that.”

While he avoided a season-ending injury, Robinson III will miss the entire preseason and perhaps 20-plus regular season games. Eight weeks would cost him nearly 25 percent of the season, and have him back around Nov. 27 against Orlando.

GRIII was expected to play 20-plus minutes off the been again, playing behind newcomer Bojan Bogdanovic. After playing for two teams during his rookie season, he finally felt comfortable and confident entering his third season with the Pacers. And he’s in a contract year, earning $1.5 million for the 2017-18 campaign.

His absence creates an opportunity, and it will most likely lead to more minutes for rookie T.J. Leaf, and possibly Damien Wilkins (on a non-guaranteed deal) and Alex Poythress (two-way contract).

“We’re just going to play and get wins,” Leaf put it simply. “That was our goal from the beginning of training camp and that’s our goal now.”

GRIII’s boot.

The first 24 hours are crazy. “Doctors, MRI, X-ray. X-ray came out great,” he said. Oh, and plenty of ice and elevation. By Friday night, Robinson III said he had heard from every player and coach. All of them had called or texted at that point. He even heard from former Pacer Jeff Teague, along with Dwyane Wade. GRIII is part of Wade’s Way of Wade brand.

“It’s good to see that they still appreciate me on this team,” he said.

The Pacers have one more practice scheduled, for Monday, before flying up to Milwaukee the following day to open the preseason. Though Robinson III will be off the court for the next month-plus, he plans to stay involved. He doesn’t have a history with injuries beyond a left calf strain last season that cost him 11 games.

As Turner put it: “You can’t let that change the mood or atmosphere that’s going on within the training camp. We still have to move forward.”

He says he’ll continue to work with Dr. Carr to stay confident as well as mentally engaged. And he’ll hit the weight room to get upper-body work in as soon as a week.

“I’ve been through a lot my past four years in the league, if anybody can get through this – I can.”

Watch his comments below:

Coach McMillan and other players react:

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