Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy admitted to the Associated Press on Sunday that his knee injury was at one point career-threatening.
He agreed to a risky surgery to remove a bone spur in early March, even though he was told he might not be able to play again after the procedure.
"Beforehand, they were probably saying 50-50," Dunleavy told The Associated Press. "Now, the way I'm progressing and the way I'm moving forward, we feel very confident that I'll be able to get back, and probably better than I was."
Doctors discovered that the bone spur was doing significant damage to his patella tendon.
"I was forced to get the surgery to remove it [the bone spur], which I guess you would call a last resort," Dunleavy said. "They removed the spur and without doing any major damage to the tendon. They were able to sew the tendon back up. Now, it's a matter of waiting to let that tendon heal, getting it strong again, and that process is going to take some time."
The Pacers don't expect to get Dunleavy back until at least January 2010.