Anthony Davis is expected to make his return to the court on Friday night.
“All of the indications are he’s going to play,” coach Alvin Gentry said.
In all, Davis missed just three games due to a strained left adductor. It’s a welcome relief for the New Orleans Pelicans, who feared the worst when Davis crumpled to the ground on a non-contact injury during last week’s loss to the Utah Jazz.
But two MRIs, in two different cities, revealed no structural damage and Davis said even the bouts with pain on pivots and cuts have subsided in recent days, allowing him to suit up against the Sacramento Kings.
Gentry said he hasn’t put a firm playing time restriction on Davis’ return, but expects it hover around the 25-minute mark, considering Friday’s game is the first of three in a four day span.
“I want to go out there and play freely, but a groin is definitely something you have to monitor,” Davis said Friday afternoon. “But, knowing me I’ll probably be pushing to play as much as I can.”
The All-NBA forward has appeared in 70 games just once in five full-length NBA seasons, logging 75 last year. He’s missed five thus far this year.
Davis is averaging 25.2 points per game in 34.9 minutes, shooting 57.3 percent, ranking among the NBA’s Top 10 in each category. More importantly, the Pelicans are 5.3 points better than their opponents per 100 possessions in his 733 minutes.
Davis, though, has battled some ailments this season, including minor knee swelling in October (MRI results revealed no structural damage then, too) and then a concussion-turned-orbital bone bruise above his right eye in November.
He also exited 12 different games during the 2016-17 season due to a variety of injuries, during which the Pelicans went 5-7, ranging from a sprained thumb to lower back troubles.
New Orleans tallied a 2-1 record without Davis for this brief stretch, sandwiching wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets around a loss to the Golden State Warriors.