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The Indiana Pacers announced that guard Bennedict Mathurin is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. Mathurin didn't play in Indiana's most recent game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, as he was listed out with a right shoulder sprain. But given this update it appears that the injury is more serious than the Pacers thought and he'll be out for the rest of the season.

The Pacers say that Mathurin is expected to make a full recovery for the 2024-25 season, a positive sign down the road, but for right now this is tough news for a team that has enough offensive firepower to be a challenging playoff draw for any Eastern Conference opponent.

Losing Mathurin is a significant blow for the Pacers, as he's their most productive player off the bench. He's averaging 14.5 points, four rebounds and two assists on 44.6% from the field and 37.4% from deep. He gives Indiana a spark plug off the bench, and slides in nicely into the starting lineup when needed. Mathurin's absence stings that much more especially after the Pacers traded Buddy Hield ahead of the trade deadline. Hield was part of Indiana's strong bench unit, and now that he's on the 76ers and Mathurin's out for the rest of the season, it really puts a damper on Indiana's depth heading into the postseason.

The Pacers have had the second-best offense this season, and their bench scoring ranked first in the league in part because of Mathurin's production. He's tough to guard because he can hurt you with or without the ball in his hands, and not being able to have him in the postseason is going to hurt Indiana's chances.

The Pacers sit in the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference, so any a playoff berth might have to be secured through the play-in round. And while the Pacers could still very well pose a legitimate threat to the top teams in the East, they'll be doing so with less depth.