New Orleans Pelicans All-Star power forward Anthony Davis said Monday he has an acromioclavicular joint injury in his right shoulder.
He had been diagnosed with a sprained shoulder before the All-Star break, which caused him to miss the All-Star Game on Feb. 14. That usually takes less time to heal than his present injury. Davis, however, said the injuries are the same.
“It’s the same exact thing,” he said after Monday morning’s shoot-around at the Smoothie King Center as the team prepared to meet the Toronto Raptors. “I think the trainers say it’s a sprained AC joint. I just know it hurts.”
Davis was injured at 3:38 of the first quarter of Saturday’s win at Miami. Forward Ryan Anderson then was injured in the second quarter, coming away with a sprained right knee. That all came after the team announced Wednesday that point guard Jrue Holiday, out since Jan. 14 with a stress reaction in his lower right leg, would be out an additional three weeks before being re-evaluated. Holiday wore a walking boot at the shoot-around.
Davis tried to remain optimistic as the Pelicans, in 10th place in the Western Conference playoff race, look to make a final push to gain the eighth and final spot. They entered Monday’s matchup with Toronto 2½ games behind surging Oklahoma City.
“These guys have won before without me,” Davis said. “No one said it would be easy. The news about Jrue came out, then me and Ryan go out Saturday. It’s tough, but we have enough guys who can step up and still try to make that push.”
Davis said the injury occurred when he was elbowed on the shoulder after taking a shot in the lane. He had been injured Feb. 7 when he fell hard after dunking on a fast break during the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls. He sat out through the All-Star break, not playing in the game, and returned Friday at Orlando.
Davis said he doesn’t think he came back too soon. He said a big part of his rehabilitation for the next two weeks involves strengthening the shoulder.
“A lot of things with the (elastic) bands, a lot of treatment and icing,” he said. “But there’s not really much you can do but let it heal.”
When Davis realized he had reinjured the shoulder, he said “it was tough.”
“Two weeks before, I did all this work to come back and play again,” he said. “Then I had a terrible game against Orlando, and I just wanted to come back and be aggressive against Miami. I felt like I was going in that direction, then (the injury) happened. That was the most hurting part … to have to do it all over again.”
Pelicans guard Quincy Pondexter saw injuries happen to key players Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley while playing for Memphis the past two seasons. That team had many more playoff-tested veterans than these Pelicans, but Pondexter said he remains confident.
“Of course I was worried about how we’re going to respond,” he said. “But (Saturday), when we played Miami, that just shows we’re learning. That was a big testament as to how far we’ve come.”