New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday said Wednesday the injury to his lower right leg is different than the one he experienced last season, and said he doesn't need surgery.
“The difference is that I had a crack in my shin last year, and I don't have a crack now,” he said after the Pelicans' shoot-around practice in preparation for the night's game against the Brooklyn Nets at Smoothie King Center.
But Holiday said he doesn't know if he'll return this season.
“I've got two weeks in this (protective walking) boot, and we'll see,” he said.
Holiday missed the final 48 games last season with a fractured right tibia. This time, the team said, he has a stress reaction in his lower right leg, which is in the same area of last season's injury. He last played on Jan. 12 at Boston and has missed the past 19 games.
Holiday has seen a specialist in his hometown of Los Angeles and has been the walking boot the past few weeks, he said. He said he had a procedure done, but it was not surgery.
Holiday is due to be re-evaluated in two weeks.
“I just had them look at it,” he said. “Obviously, I got a procedure done, and with that procedure, we'll see how it goes in a couple of weeks.
“They didn't have to cut me open or anything.”
Holiday said he was working on drills when he noticed something in the leg. That was on Feb. 16, the Monday after the All-Star break.
“It was regular basketball plays, little drills, and the pain kind of increased,” he said. “I just tried to do some basic drills, and the pain increased pretty quickly.”
After the injury at Boston, he was expected to miss up to four weeks, which would have put his return at Feb. 14. He said he just thinks he needs rest.
“I guess, before, I wanted to push it to try to see if I could come back,” he said. “I guess, now, it's about making sure my leg heals all the way. Once the boot comes off, we'll see what's up.”
Holiday appeared to get a little emotional when asked his reaction to the news he'd be out an additional three weeks. He was expected to rejoin his teammates and be the catalyst in a push to make the Western Conference playoffs.
“Obviously, I always want to play,” he said. “Going through surgery and then coming back and having a reaction in the same leg, it's different for me.
“But I think we have a good thing here, and I'm just trying to stay positive. All I can do is cheer my team on until I can go out there on the court. I guess I'm trying to take my time and at the same time, come back as soon as possible.”
Holiday has played in 37 games and averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 assists. Just as important, he is a good defender against opposing point guards, which the team has missed.
Before last season, Holiday didn't have a history of significant injuries, averaging 74.5 in his first four seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, including playing in all 82 games during his second season.
To help the Pelicans immediately in the playoff chase and as insurance in case Holiday cannot return during the final 29 games, the Pelicans obtained point guard Norris Cole in a trade with the Miami Heat.