It’s that time of year again! No. Not the one with unbridled hope of what a brand new edition of the Pelicans franchise could achieve in the coming months. No. Instead we get to focus on injury timetables, reading up on the various ligaments in the human body not yet familiar, and various other maladies.
Before training camp even began the Pelicans sounded the alarm. Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter would not be available at the beginning of the season. Jrue Holiday, tending to his growing family and wife with a recently diagnosed brain tumor, would also be out an undisclosed amount of time. Ideally both Evans and Pondexter could return as early as November, although Dell Demps appeared to suggest December as a more conservative time line. Lauren Holiday has already given birth to their first child and her eventual surgery was initially expected to be conducted roughly six weeks afterwards. A December return for Jrue Holiday could also be in the cards if there are no complications.
When the Pelicans left for China the injury report stood at three. More players were added before the first game against Houston as both Alexis Ajinca (back spasms) and Terrence Jones (knee contusion) did not play on Sunday. Earlier today Ajinca took to the floor (with disastrous results) while Jones remained out of action.
But, as Pelican luck would have it, adding one injured player back into the rotation requires the sacrifice of two more. Anthony Davis sprained his ankle about halfway through the first quarter and was ruled out with a grade 2 right ankle sprain. The timeline (10-15 days according to reports by Marc Spears for The Undefeated) pushes close to opening night against the Denver Nuggets. E’Twaun Moore was also injured, his injury is being labeled a heel contusion and no firm timeline has been reported.
Going into the fifth preseason game the Pelicans injury situation is far worse than reasonably expected before training camp began.
- Tyreke Evans (Out - Knee)
- Quincy Pondexter (Out - Knee)
- Jrue Holiday (Out - Personal)
- Anthony Davis (Out - Ankle)
- Terrence Jones (Doubtful - Knee)
- E’Twaun Moore (TBD - Heel)
All six of the players above were expected to be rotation players for the Pelicans this season. Hopefully the three recent additions heal and are 100% before opening night. This does not even include Alexis Ajinca and the nagging nature (historically) of back spasms for big men in the NBA. As a Pelicans fan, when was the last time things actually went according to plan you can remember?