Pelicans forward Quincy Pondexter will have surgery on his left knee that will cost him the rest of the season, the team announced Monday night.
Pondexter, a 6-foot-6 small forward who had been projected as a starter, has not played this season while rehabilitating from surgery in May on the same knee.
Yahoo Sports first reported the news of Pondexter’s second surgery, which it said will take place Jan. 20 in New York.
In a stretch of three consecutive games last week, Pondexter was listed on the Pelicans’ injury report first as questionable, then doubtful, then out. On Saturday, coach Alvin Gentry said Pondexter would be on the court quickly “if” he got the OK to play, the first public hint that Pondexter’s return this season was not a given.
Pondexter averaged 9.0 points per game and shot 43.3 percent from 3-point range in 45 games last season after joining the Pelicans via trade from Memphis. He played with pain in his left knee down the stretch as New Orleans clinched the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“So I was just going out there and playing with pure heart because I just didn’t want to let my teammates down,” Pondexter told The Advocate in October. “We were in a playoff push, and the ability to earn a starter’s spot was a goal and a dream since I’ve been in the NBA, so I wasn’t going to let that go as long as I could still run when I was on the floor — no matter how much it hurt.”