New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis said he will wear protective padding to protect his bruised chest during Tuesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz at Smoothie King Center.
Davis said he hadn’t played with extra padding before.
“I know I’ll be comfortable with it, so I’m going to wear it tonight,” he said about 1½ hours before Tuesday’s game.
He was asked if he was pain-free four days after the injury occurred during the first quarter of Friday’s home game against Cleveland.
“I’m not going to say that,” said Davis, who is averaging 24.3 points per game, fourth in the NBA, and 10.2 rebounds. He leads the league in blocks at 2.73 per game. “I think I just wanted to get a practice in before I jumped back into the fire. It felt fine, so we’re giving it a go in the game tonight.”
Davis came out of Friday’s game grimacing and holding his chest at 5 minutes, 30 seconds of the first quarter. He sat out Sunday’s game against Golden State after saying he still experienced a lot of pain and doctors urged caution.
Davis said he still doesn’t know how the injury occurred and he has no bruise mark on his chest. It appears from game video that he may have been struck in the chest by an elbow from Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson, who was dribbling the ball up court on the left sideline with Davis defending at about the 5:50 mark of the first quarter.
“Some people say they saw me get it,” he said. “I don’t remember, but it happened, so I just have to be cautious about it.”
Davis said he was in immediate discomfort when it occurred.
“I had trouble breathing; couldn’t really breathe,” he said. “And, I had a sharp pain in my chest. So, I was trying to see what was going on. It was pain, and it felt really uncomfortable.
“A lot of people said I wasn’t myself. It was scary when you have something like that and you’re not really sure how it happened.”
Several tests were run in the hospital on Friday night, he said. He said he didn’t do anything until Tuesday. He participated in Tuesday morning’s shoot-around practice, where he took a lot of outside shots.
Davis scored a career-high 43 points against the Jazz on Nov. 22 in Utah. He said he didn’t know how he’ll be affected in this game.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I not too worried about it. I’m just going to go out there and stay in the offense.”
Without Davis, the Pelicans (11-12) beat Cleveland and lost in overtime to Golden State.
“We played hard,” he said. “We had a great win against Cleveland and then we gave ourselves a chance to win against Golden State. We made a couple of offensive rebounds late in the game and it went into overtime, and Steph (Curry) was Steph.”