Tyrese Haliburton Injury Updates: Pacers star ruled out for Game 3 vs. Celtics, ‘desperately wants to play’

Tyrese Haliburton exited the Indiana Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Boston Celtics with at least his second hamstring injury of the season, and there is now increasing doubt as to whether or not he will be able to return at all during the NBA Playoffs.

With the Pacers trailing 0-2 heading into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Pacers would “err on the side of caution with their franchise star,” and Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle essentially confirmed that on Saturday, saying pregame that while Haliburton “desperately wants to play,” the Pacers are not going to let him risk a more serious injury while playing through another hamstring strain:

Woj’s follow-up report on TV made it sound unlikely at best that Haliburton will return this postseason:

Haliburton missed 10 games earlier this season with the same injury, and appeared limited when he returned while sometimes only playing the league-required minimum of 20 minutes to qualify for the NBA’s new 65-game threshold for All-NBA team eligibility (Haliburton later made the third team, qualifying him for nearly a $41 million bonus on his current supermax contract).

With Haliburton out, expect the Pacers to play backup point guard and super sub T.J. McConnell as many minutes as he can handle until his All-Star backcourt mate returns.

And if there is anyone ready with enough self-belief to try and shock the world by stealing a win from Boston, it’s McConnell, who our own Katie Heindl recently profiled as part of our playoffs coverage:

The Pacers will face the Celtics in Game 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Indiana in a matchup televised on ABC.

This post will continue to update with the latest on Haliburton’s status.

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