Pelicans ‘hopeful’ Brandon Ingram returns this week

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 12:00 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:16 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Once sitting atop the Western Conference, the Pelicans have fallen a few spots and are currently on a 4-game losing streak as their two stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson continue to miss action due to injuries.

While there seems to be somewhat of a timeline for recovery for Williamson, who is out with a strained hamstring, the current path to recovery for Ingram has felt open-ended. He’s missed significant time with a big toe contusion. He’s been medically cleared to play for weeks, though, he’s said that he won’t return unless he feels 100 percent. Pardon the pun, but, as the team puts it, the ball is in Ingram’s court.

Ingram has participated in shootarounds before recent games, and traveled with the team, but hadn’t practiced with the team until Sunday while the Pelicans were on the road in Miami, according to Coach Willie Green. Green said that practice went well and Ingram participated in 5-on-5s, but also said that Ingram will indicate when he’s ready to play again.

Ingram was listed as a full participant in practice on Monday. Green says he’s “hopeful” that Ingram will return at some point this week during the team’s three-game homestand in the Smoothie King Center. Ingram is officially listed as “doubtful” for Tuesday night’s matchup with Denver, and although that’s a pretty clear indicator that he won’t face the Nuggets, doubtful is the first upgrade from “out” on the injury report shown for him since his injury on Nov. 25. Before the month is over they have to face Minnesota, Washington, Milwaukee, and Denver again.

The Pelicans are holding the No. 4 spot in the West with an overall record of 26-21.

Williamson will be re-evaluated for his injury on Tuesday and a clearer timeline for return could be established then.

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