Lance Stephenson has suffered a groin injury and he will need surgery, according to a team press release. Stephenson had an MRI earlier today and a timetable for his return has not yet been established.
Stephenson’s contract is for the minimum, but is only guaranteed for $100K. However, the team will be on the hook for his salary while he recovers from the injury, Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes (Twitter links). Marks adds that the Pelicans could be granted the hardship exception, allowing them to add a 16th player as soon as next Friday. New Orleans is already without point guard Jrue Holiday, who is out of the lineup indefinitely while caring for his wife.
Stephenson signed with the Pelicans during the offseason and beat out Alonzo Gee for a roster spot at the conclusion of the preseason. He averaged 9.7 points and 4.8 assists in 27 minutes per game during the team’s six contests this season.