NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams announced after Tuesday’s shoot-around rookie power forward Anthony Davis will play against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night at New Orleans Arena.
Davis missed 11 games with a stress reaction in his left ankle. The Hornets went 2-9 in those games. He last played on Nov. 17 at Milwaukee, a game in which he had a season-high 28 points as well as 11 rebounds.
Davis said he was excited to be back, that it was difficult watching his teammates play, and lose, without him.
“It was tough,” he said. “You always want to be on the floor, especially as a rookie, you want to play every game. It’s good to be back.
“The ankle feels good.”
Williams said Davis will come off the bench for now. Ryan Anderson has been starting in place of Davis while he’s been out.
“Ryan’s playing so well, and I think it’s just the right thing to do, to bring Anthony off (the bench) and just ease him into it and also allow Ryan to play in that starting role,” Williams said. “That could change. Ryan knows that.”
Williams said Davis will have minute restrictions, but he was to talk to the team’s trainers and doctors about it.
“It’s not like we were playing him 40 minutes (a game) anyway,” Williams said. “But we’re so excited to have him back. It helps the rotation, and it’s one more guy who plays like we want to play.”
Davis said he experienced some swelling in the ankle and certain movements gave him discomfort.
“(There was discomfort) when I did cutting,” he said. “I didn’t do any jumping or running tests before that. We just progressed slowly. But cutting was really bothering me, so we had to push back some to go through the process.
“It got better. I went through a lot of treatment, a lot of ankle work, and it got better.”
He said he had his last test Sunday, running and jumping. He was cleared to practice Monday.
“Practice was the ultimate test,” he said. “Going hard, seeing how it held up, and it felt good.”
Davis, 19, said the ankle began feeling much better about a week ago, but the Hornets wanted to make sure.
“You need your feet to play basketball,” he said. “I’d rather sit out now than to have to sit out later, or end up doing something terrible to it and have to sit out a couple of years. I’d rather go through this process and get it out of the way and be healthy for the rest of the season.”