The Pacers have established themselves firmly as one of the league three or four best teams, coming off a season in which they were a game away from the Finals. And they've done it without a guy that used to be their franchise player.
But Danny Granger could be close to returning.

Via the Indy Star, Granger has returned to practice and could be very near a return to the court.

“I feel good,” Granger said Friday. “I was running, sprinting, playing live for about an hour, so I felt really good.”

Granger has been out since Oct. 28 with a strained left calf, with an original timetable of three weeks. We're well past that now as Granger's missed all 19 of the team's games.

Though Granger practiced, he may not be all that close, as coach Fran Vogel warned.

“It was his first action back,” Vogel said. “He's a ways away, though.”

Granger on the other hand, feels like he could be back sooner than later, saying he probably could be playing right now.