New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis said Wednesday it’s frustrating to be injured again, but he also looked at the bright side.
Davis, the 2012 No. 1 overall draft pick, missed 18 games with a mild concussion and shoulder and leg ailments last season, his rookie year. He will miss four to six weeks with his latest injury, a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his left hand, which he suffered during Sunday’s victory against the Knicks in New York. If he returns Jan. 1 at the Minnesota Timberwolves, he will have missed 14 games.
“It’s frustrating because you want to be on the floor,” Davis said after the team’s shootaround at New Orleans Arena. “At the same time, there’s nothing you can do about it.
“You play the game long enough, you’re going to give something up.”
Davis, 20, said he knew something was wrong the moment he injured the hand with about five minutes left in the first quarter. He appeared to be knocked off-balance by a Knicks player.
“I was going for an alley-oop (and) hit my hand on the rim,” Davis said. “It started hurting real bad.”
Then, at the 2:33 mark, Davis took a charge from Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire and started holding the hand. He was taken out of the game about a minute later. The hand was examined and wrapped, and he did not return.
Although Davis, the Pelicans’ key player, will miss at least a month, he took solace in that the injury is to his left (nonshooting) hand.
“I definitely don’t want it to be my shooting hand,” he said. “That would mess up my shot. I’ll probably (practice) some one-hand shooting, but I don’t know. I have to see what the trainers have for me, play it by ear.”
By the fracture being nondisplaced — meaning the bone didn’t move — no surgery is required. Davis is wearing a more flexible brace instead of a cast. He said there’s been no swelling.
The injury came in the second game of a three-game road trip that the Pelicans swept without Davis, pushing their record (9-8) above .500 for the first time this season. He went into the game averaging 19.6 points, second on the team, and led the squad at 10.6 rebounds. He leads the NBA in blocked shots at 3.63 per game.
Heading into Wednesday’s home game against Dallas, the Pelicans were vying for their first four-game winning streak since April of last season. They shot 49.1 percent on the road trip. Davis said he believes the Pelicans will continue their recent solid play even with him sidelined.
“I have a lot of confidence in our system and the team and the coaches where we can pull out wins, no matter who is on the floor,” he said. “All our guys are capable of doing anything on any given night.”
In Davis’ absence, Ryan Anderson averaged 28.3 points on 52.6 percent shooting, including 58.6 on 3-point attempts.
“To come in and play big minutes, he played well for us,” Davis said.
Davis said his focus until he returns will be to stay in shape. The training staff had Anderson and small forward Darius Miller ride stationary bikes while injured, and both said they were able to remain in good condition.
Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a teammate of Davis on Kentucky’s 2012 NCAA championship basketball team, came away with a fractured left hand in the team’s loss Tuesday night at Dallas, the Pelicans’ opponent Wednesday night.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ J.J. Redick and Brooklyn Nets’ Paul Pierce also have suffered broken hands in recent games that will keep them out for weeks.
“(Kidd-Gilchrist) called me, told me,” Davis said. “It’s crazy. A lot of guys are breaking their hands now.”