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New Orleans Pelicans guard Jameer Nelson (14) maneuvers around Denver Nuggets forward Trey Lyles (7) and forward Kenneth Faried (35) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

Anthony Davis is fully able to be Anthony Davis again.

Davis returned from a strained left adductor injury Friday night and logged 31 minutes in New Orleans' sluggish 116-109 overtime loss to the lowly Sacramento Kings.

Davis, who missed three consecutive games from Dec. 2-6, said his hip/thigh injury bothered him very little against the Kings. Unlike Friday, Davis was not limited to a minutes restriction versus Philadelphia, coach Alvin Gentry said before Sunday's tip against the 76ers.

“I felt good,” Davis said Saturday. “It never bothered me.”

With Davis' return, another Pelicans injury spawned.

New Orleans reserve guard Jameer Nelson missed Sunday's game with a left ankle injury, Gentry said. Like Davis, Nelson added 30 minutes in Friday's loss, largely because the Pelicans did not play starting point guard Rajon Rondo to rest him.

As a reliable backup, Nelson is averaging 6.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Sunday's absence will be his first missed game since the 6-foot veteran arrived in New Orleans as a free agent in late October.

"Once again, it's a precautionary thing," Gentry said. "I just don't think there's any reason to take a risk on it. We had a little problem with it, so we'll just sit him out tonight."

Nelson's 30-minute outing was the most he's charted since Nov. 4 and the fourth-most since he joined the Pelicans.

Frank Jackson's return nearing

Rookie guard Frank Jackson has his eye set on January.

Jackson has missed all 27 games this season after surgery was required to repair a right foot fracture (fifth metatarsal) on Sept. 1.

He began performing basketball activities toward the end of November, Gentry said, and has progressed to spot shooting and ball-handling "stuff" as of Dec. 10, Jackson said Sunday.

"I feel great," Jackson said. "I've been to the doctor last week, and everything looks good. My foot's healing. It's almost healed, pretty much."

Jackson plans to continue to ramp up his workload in the next couple of weeks, when he will begin to rebuild his conditioning by jogging, and eventually sprinting, on a treadmill as January rolls around.

"It was looking like a 3-4 month recovery,” Jackson said. "So that's what I'm hoping."

Added Jackson: "I'm getting there. Takes time when you're unable to play basketball for three months. It's new for me. I'll get there though ... I feel great. No problems with it. I'm just excited to start doing that stuff."

Multiple injuries limit 76ers

The Pelicans welcomed an interesting version of the spry and rising 76ers to the Smoothie King Center.

Philadelphia starting forward Robert Covington crashed into the crowd Saturday at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena and needed to be helped off the floor following the backward crash into a row of courtside seats.

Covington's hustle, which resulted in the 6-foot-9 forward landing awkwardly atop a courtside chair, forced the starter to miss Sunday's game with a lower back contusion.

"He's hurting," said Sixers coach Brett Brown. "He went flying over the bench and landed on a portion of the seating that was pointed and cut him in the back."

The 76ers star center, Joel Embiid, was scratched minutes before Sunday's tipoff with back tightness. Guard T.J. McConnell also missed Sunday's game against New Orleans with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder, Brown said. McConnell sat out Philadelphia's 105-98 loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday.