A.J. Price retained for 10 more days

Pacers given second hardship relief exemption to keep guard.

The Indiana Pacers’ ongoing injury situation has allowed them to keep guard A.J. Price for at least another 10 days.

The team announced Monday it was granted a second injury hardship relief exemption from the NBA due to having six injured players on the current roster.

“He’s very needed,” coach Frank Vogel said, in a video posted on pacers.com. “Obviously the way he’s playing, he’s given us a big lift.”

Price, signed Nov. 6 to a 10-day contract, has provided a much-needed boost off the bench. He’s averaged 13 points and 2.8 assists in six games. Price scored 21 points in the Pacers’ 99-90 win at Chicago Saturday.

The sixth-year pro played his first three NBA seasons with Indiana from 2009-12. He was considering a deal to play in China when the Pacers called him.

“To see him come in and take advantage of this opportunity is exciting to see,” Vogel said.

The Pacers are without forward David West, point guard George Hill, reserve point guard C.J. Watson, reserve guard Rodney Stuckey and guard-forward C.J. Miles. Two-time All-Star Paul George is also considered among the injured, although he’s not expected to play this season due to a broken leg.

Vogel said Stuckey (foot) and Miles (calf) could possibly return Wednesday, when the Pacers (4-7) host Charlotte at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Price’s return means West, Hill and Watson won’t return for at least the next three games, the coach said.

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.


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