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Jaxson Hayes returns from UCL injury, available for Pelicans-Jazz matchup

The Pelicans reserve big man could play an important role as soon as tonight

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans-Media Day Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

When the New Orleans Pelicans take the court against the Utah Jazz this evening, Willie Green will have the services of another weapon off the bench.

Jaxson Hayes is available to play, returning to the active list after tearing the UCL ligament in his left elbow a little more than two weeks ago in a preseason game against the Detroit Pistons.

If and how the New Orleans head coach utilizes his most mobile center on the roster remains to be seen, but one can be sure he can add a high-flying dimension. There’s very few athletic seven-footers who can fill the transition lanes and rolls to the rim as Hayes.

One fun development from pregame workouts: Watching Jose Alvarado actually practice his famous GTA backcourt steals.

He practiced this — starting from a push-up position only once, the rest were with his back turned to the court — for about five or so reps, stripping the ball from player development assistant coach Brandon Demas every time.

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give our preview a read.

Let’s Geaux, Pels!

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (2-0) vs Utah Jazz (2-0)

When: October 23, 2022, 6:00 p.m. CT

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, NBA League Pass

Where to listen: WRNO 99.5

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.