New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson is slated to play in his first game this season Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers at the New Orleans Arena, he said during Saturday morning’s shootaround.
Anderson, whose 3-point shooting gives the team a valuable scoring weapon and helps give teammates room to operate, was out with a chip fracture of the second toe on his right foot. He had said Friday evening that he expected to play, pending final clearance by the team’s medical staff.
“It feels really good,” he said. “This morning, I warmed it up, went through shootaround. (The pain) is still there, but it’s minimal.”
Asked whether he was excited to play again, he said, “Heck, yeah.”
“It’s tough coming in and wearing a suit and sitting behind the bench,” he said. “That’s something you definitely don’t want to do for a long time. I hope I get right back out there — I know I’ll feel comfortable — but I hope it just feels great tonight.”
Anderson said he experienced pain in the toe Oct. 28, two days before the season opener against Indiana. He held out hope that it was not serious until X-rays revealed the fracture. The initial prognosis had him set to miss one to three weeks.
Eight days later, he was upgraded to day-to-day before a shootaround as the Pelicans prepared to meet the Los Angeles Lakers at the Arena. However, he tested it before the game, warming up, and said the pain was still too great.
Last season, Anderson finished second in the NBA in 3-pointers made with 213. He averaged 16.2 points, second on the team, and 6.4 rebounds, which ranked third.