NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Things are slowly starting to improve for the Pelicans
sharp-shooter Ryan Anderson, who's battling to return to action after
herniating two discs in his back in a game against the Boston Celtics in
Anderson tells Fox Sports New Orleans that he his almost
pain free, and since the pain is subsiding, he'll delay a decision on whether
to have surgery.
"I'm going to start increasing my workload in rehab and see
how my body responds," Anderson said while sitting courtside with play-by-play
man Joel Meyers and analyst Davis Wesley during Wednesday's game against the
Atlanta Hawks. "I had a checkup today and was cleared do do a little
shooting, no three pointers."
Anderson describes the nerve pain in his arms as "the
worst in his life" despite playing through numerous injuries like fractured
As much as being injured aggravates Anderson, he is pledging
to approach his return to the court slowly and intelligently, always abiding by
"It's definitely an injury to be conservative with, because
it's the spine," Anderson said.
The downtime does bother Anderson though, who isn't used to being
inactive and likes to stay busy. The upcoming All Star Weekend in New Orleans
will be especially hard to swallow. Anderson participated in two previous
Three Point Contests during past All Star Weekends.
"It's going to be tough not to be in that contest this
year," Anderson said. "I've loved shooting three's since I was a kid. It's
going to be hard to watch."
Anderson is spending his free time acting as a part-time
coach and full-time cheerleader for the young Pelicans who have survived the
rash of injuries that recently decimated New Orleans' starting line up.
"I'm so proud of those guys. They play with so much energy
and battle everyday, whether in practice or a game," Anderson
said. "They've really stepped up their defense lately. We pulled some
recent stats and right now we're a Top 5 defense. It says a lot about who they
are. They want to prove everyone wrong."
Anderson also knows how to keep things light. He recently
bestowed Pelicans' rookie Jeff Withey with his official nickname of "Sweet
Pea." Anderson even arranged for a plaque bearing the new
identity to go up on Withey's locker.
"Some nicknames come to you immediately and some build up
over time," Anderson grinned. "This one just felt right. We had to give
him a rookie nickname, and he's just so sweet. This one fit."
Anderson doesn't have any official timetable for his
recovery and return, except to say that he expects to be at full speed for next
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