In need of positive injury-related news, the New Orleans Pelicans got some: Anthony Davis' injured left knee appears to be healing.
Davis, who exited the first quarter of Tuesday's 103-93 loss at Portland with the injury, said Thursday the knee is "feeling better," but the extent of the injury remains unknown, two days after an MRI returned negative results late Tuesday night.
However, the Pelicans All-Star forward will not play in Thursday's 9:30 p.m. tipoff against the Sacramento Kings, the final game of New Orleans' three-game road trip, coach Alvin Gentry told reporters at Sacramento's Golden 1 Center.
"Got to do some more stuff to it, more treatment, more tests," Davis said. "But feels a lot better than it did in Portland ... Of course I want to go out there and try to play when I'm not 100 percent, it still bothers me, so. But I'd rather miss one [game] than 15. So we'll see how it is later on tonight when I come back and test it out."
Davis said the injury happened when he "just stepped wrong" during pregame warmups two days ago at Portland, providing the four-time All-Star with little worry as Tuesday's game approached.
The 24-year-old's MRI results returned without structural knee damage — a positive for New Orleans' team with five players sidelined with injuries for at least one month.
"They had a MRI machine on site, so just wanted to test it out and make sure there was nothing wrong structurally," Davis said. "Everything came back negative. I wasn't too concerned, just wanted to make sure."
Davis said he's willing to play through pain, but future tests, treatment will determine if he's able to do so.
"I'd play through it," Davis said. "But of course I want to make sure I'm able to play through it. Some of the stuff I've struggled with: squatting, a little running, that's stuff I want to make sure I'm OK with. If not, we'll have to make a decision from there."
With five injured players all unavailable, the Pelicans added veteran forward Josh Smith to their roster Wednesday via one of the team's injury hardship exceptions, sources told The Advocate on Wednesday night.
Gentry, however, doubted Smith will be available Thursday because the 12-year forward had yet to officially sign with the team roughly 90 minutes before tipoff. Gentry said the Pelicans hoped to sign Smith in coming days.
The NBA's injury hardship exception is given to teams missing at least four players for a span of at least three games.
Guard Rajon Rondo (core muscle), forward Solomon Hill (hamstring), center Omer Asik (illness), guard Frank Jackson (foot) and center Alexis Ajinca (knee) are all expected to be absent until at least mid-November.