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Report: Caris LeVert has stress fracture in back but is optimistic for start of season

Pacers G had a rough time last season after a mass was found on his kidney. Now, there’s hope LeVert will be ready for the season opener.

Caris LeVert of the Indiana Pacers brings the ball up the court in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Indiana Pacers G Caris LeVert has had a very lengthy and tough injury history. He is now dealing with a stress fractured in his back that is considered minor, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. There’s optimism within the Pacers that LeVert will be fine and should be ready for the season opener on Oct. 20 vs. the Charlotte Hornets.

Last season, LeVert was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Indiana Pacers in the four-team James Harden deal. LeVert was unable to play for the Pacers after a mass was found on his kidney. As a result, LeVert only played 35 games last season for Indy and 47 overall. In those games, LeVert was solid, averaging 20.7 points. 4.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Fantasy basketball impact of Caris LeVert injury

LeVert is going on around the 55th pick on ESPN fantasy basketball and 60th on average overall across a few websites. So generally he’s been selected as a fifth-round pick in most 12-team leagues. ESPN has LeVert ranked 46th overall in their rankings for 2021-22 based on H2H scoring. So clearly fantasy managers are a bit concerned about LeVert’s injury history. This doesn’t appear to be serious but it’s a tough injury to deal with during a long season. If LeVert falls awkwardly on his back or gets banged up in a game, it could mean missed time.

Proceed with caution when drafting LeVert. Players like Ja Morant, Collin Sexton and CJ McCollum are all ranked close by on ESPN. All three of those guards appear to be safer plays with more upside. we also know that the Pacers are going to have TJ Warren back in the fold at some point this season. It may not be to start. So LeVert was always going to be a risky draft pick this high. Monitor the situation and proceed accordingly once draft season starts in a week or two.