Updates from Friday, Feb. 28
NBA.com announced that Holiday had season-ending surgery:
The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that guard Jrue Holiday underwent a successful surgery to correct a stress fracture in his right tibia. He will miss the remainder of the season.
Updates from Thursday, Feb. 20
Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling confirms a return date for Jrue Holiday has yet to be determined:
Contrary to reports, Jrue Holiday remains out indefinitely. He will not be back in a week.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) February 20, 2014
And the news about Jrue Holiday was confirmed to me by the Pelicans.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) February 20, 2014
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday will be sidelined for an indefinite period of time due to a stress fracture in his right leg.
Jim Eichenhofer of the team's official site noted that there's no initial timetable for Holiday's return to the lineup and pointed out the guard's durability during his career:
The Pelicans said Friday morning that point guard Jrue Holiday will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right tibia. The 6-foot-4 point guard had been the only New Orleans player to appear in all 34 games this season. The durable fifth-year NBA veteran played in 78 games last season, as well as 65 of 66 games during the shortened 2011-12 campaign. As a second-year pro in 2010-11, Holiday appeared in all 82 games.
It's the second injury setback in as many weeks for the Pelicans. They are also without power forward Ryan Anderson, who leads the team in scoring at a shade under 20 points per game but is recovering from a herniated disc.
Holiday joined the Pelicans after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers. He was averaging over 14 points and nearly eight assists while playing more than 33 minutes per contest in his first season with the team.
The Pelicans' studio host, Daniel Sallerson, reports Brian Roberts spoke with the media and is expected to get the start in place of Holiday against the Dallas Mavericks:
Brian Roberts just spoke to the media and it sounds like he is starting tonight for the #Pelicans— Daniel Sallerson (@dsallerson) January 10, 2014
Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest reports the timeframe for Holiday:
Source close to Pelicans Jrue Holiday tell @CSNNW they're optimistic he'll return in approximately a month from his stress fracture injury.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 10, 2014
Center Jason Smith said the team has to overcome its injury woes, per Nakia Hogan of The Times-Picayune:
As a team we just have to stay upbeat. You can't let anything get you down. Obviously Jrue and Ryan going down that's a big hit for us offensively. But at the same point we got guys that need to step up. We are going to have to have them step up and play good tonight.
While it appears Roberts is going to get the first opportunity to replace Holiday, Tyreke Evans will probably take on a larger ball-handling role as well. Austin Rivers could also see more playing time in the revamped guard rotation.
Can the Pelicans still make the playoffs?
If Holiday ends up missing an extended period of time, it'll be a significant blow to the team's playoff hopes. New Orleans is only four games off the pace in the Western Conference playoff race, but it will be difficult to remain within striking distance while missing two key pieces.
That said, it's unclear exactly how long Holiday will be out, so the Pelicans are in a holding patten with hope he returns while they are still in the mix.