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Jrue Holiday to play Friday against Blazers; Tyreke Evans on pace to return by Thanksgiving

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New Orleans is about to be infused with some much needed star power.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking at a corporate event hosted by C Spire Wireless this morning, Alvin Gentry revealed the New Orleans Pelicans will soon be welcoming Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans back to the playing rotation. The plan is for both stars to return to the lineup no later than Thanksgiving.

Later in the day, Dell Demps confirmed Holiday will play against the Portland Trail Blazers this coming Friday. He is set to practice on Thursday and scheduled to talk to the media afterwards.

Scott Kushner also mentioned on Twitter that Evans was slated to go through his first practice with the team today. Although he will not see contact yet, the news should nevertheless be viewed as positive. Back on media day, Dell Demps had stated that the Pelicans were hoping to set a definitive timeline towards the end of October for both Quincy Pondexter and Evans. It appears Tyreke’s knee has responded well to all of the rehabilitation because his return is imminent.

At the same time, it’s heartening to read the Pelicans promise to be cautious with Evans' return. Demps stated that he and Holiday will be on minutes restrictions initially but for different reasons. Jrue is 100% healthy so his limitations are entirely preventative. As his conditioning improves, Holiday’s minutes should increase quickly. On the other hand, the Pelicans sound likely to follow a much stricter timetable with Evans. Tyreke has undergone multiple surgeries within such a short period that it’s logical the organization has him pass a variety of checkpoints — similar to Holiday last season — before loosening or altogether removing the leash.

With a 2-9 record to open the 2016-17 season, today’s news qualifies as uplifting because Anthony Davis and the rest of the team are on the verge of receiving two key rotation players in the very near future.