Sources: Pacers' Victor Oladipo hopeful for late January return

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is hopeful to return to the lineup by early February -- and perhaps as soon as late January -- from a ruptured right quad tendon, league sources told ESPN.

Oladipo's looming return to the Pacers -- which will partner him with All-Star candidate Malcolm Brogdon in the backcourt -- could ultimately become the most significant addition to an Eastern Conference contender around the NBA's trade deadline, which is Feb. 6.

Oladipo, an All-Star last season, has undergone an arduous rehabilitation program after rupturing the quad tendon 11 months ago. He has been ramping up on-court workouts with the Pacers in recent weeks.

The Pacers are 21-10, only 1½ games behind second-place Boston in the Eastern Conference standings.

Oladipo had his best NBA season in Indiana in 2017-18 after a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 23 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals.