MARCH 25TH: Anderson will indeed miss the rest of the season, the Pelicans announced.
JANUARY 14TH: It’s doubtful that Ryan Anderson will return this season after he suffered a herniated disk in his neck on January 3rd, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune. Anderson spoke to reporters last night and said doctors have advised him to rest for about two months before they determine whether he’ll need surgery to repair the disk, as Brett Martel of The Associated Press details.
“Obviously, I want to get back as soon as possible, but this is something that if I got hit again, it could be more than just career ending. I want to be careful about it,” Anderson said. “We’re going to find out pretty soon how it’s healing and depending on if it’s healing (on its own), then we’ll just keep going with that. But if not, we’ll do the surgery.”
Anderson is nonetheless optimistic that he’ll be able return to action at some point, if not this season. The injury occurred when he collided with Gerald Wallace during a game against the Celtics, forcing Anderson to be taken off the court in traction.
It’s a tough blow for the Pelicans and Anderson, who was having his best season, putting up a career-best 19.8 points per game and leading the NBA in free-throw percentage. Anderson’s name had come up in a few trade rumors over the past several months, though New Orleans was in no hurry to move him, as I noted when I examined his trade candidacy. His injury makes it highly unlikely he’s dealt this season. The 25-year-old is under contract through the 2015/16 season.