7:46pm: There’s a “strong likelihood” that Hart will need surgery to repair the thumb, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets.
7:03pm: Pelicans guard Josh Hart has a torn UCL in his right thumb and will be out an extended period, Andrew Lopez of ESPN tweets. The diagnosis was made after he underwent an MRI on Friday.
Hart played through the injury Thursday against Orlando. He’s averaging 9.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 2.3 APG this season in 47 games, all but four off the bench. Hart is in his fourth season in the league and will be a restricted free agent after the summer.
The Pelicans are already shorthanded in the backcourt. Lonzo Ball hasn’t played since March 18 with a hip injury. They agreed to sign Isaiah Thomas to a 10-day contract on Friday.
Without Hart, New Orleans will have to lean more heavily on Eric Bledsoe, Kira Lewis Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker.