Pelicans star Anthony Davis was forced out of action during Thursday’s win over Oklahoma City due to a left shoulder injury that has been diagnosed as a muscle contusion, reports ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Davis – along with agent Rich Paul – left the game before it was over to undergo an MRI, which revealed the contusion.
Shelburne’s source described the injury, which Davis sustained during a collision with Thunder center Nerlens Noel, as “nothing too bad.” According to Shelburne, Davis will still head to Charlotte for All-Star weekend and will receive treatment on his injured shoulder over the next few days. Depending on how he feels by Sunday, the big man still may still play in the 2019 All-Star Game.
While Davis’ injury doesn’t sound serious, it shines a spotlight on the uncomfortable situation that he and the Pelicans find themselves in. New Orleans would reportedly prefer to shut down AD for the rest of the season in order to preserve his health in advance of offseason trade talks, but the six-time All-Star wants to keep playing and the Pelicans may be fined $100K per game if they sit him when he’s healthy.
It will be interesting to see whether Davis plays in Sunday’s All-Star Game — if he misses that contest, the Pelicans might be justified in holding him out a little longer after the break.
The Davis saga has loomed larger over the franchise for the last few weeks, something head coach Alvin Gentry acknowledged in his post-game comments on Thursday night, as ESPN’s Tim MacMahon relays.
“To tell you the truth, this whole thing has been a dumpster fire,” Gentry said. “We want guys to be professional and we want them to do this, but it’s hard for guys to go through what they’ve been through. And to be able to come out and beat a team of that quality, I’m happy for all the guys. I just thought they did a great job.”