Omer Asik Has Lost Significant Amount of Weight from Illness

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 6: Omer Asik #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans waits for a rebound during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on February 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pelicans 99-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik has lost a significant amount of weight due to a bacterial infection that has kept him out of the lineup since Feb. 10.

"We're just trying to get him healthy, really," Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said, per Justin Verrier of ESPN.com. "That's the main thing."

Gentry said Asik is "struggling" with the illness, which may have been contracted in Mexico, where he traveled during the All-Star break.

The 30-year-old from Turkey didn't miss a single regular-season game across his first three seasons in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets. He's missed some time with injuries each of the last three years, however, including a multiweek absence last season with a calf strain.

Asik has not played since the Pelicans' trade for DeMarcus Cousins, so his role going forward is unclear. He was struggling to get consistent playing time before the deal, especially with Anthony Davis playing more of a center role.

Having Cousins and Davis on the roster makes it unlikely Asik would see much, if any, playing time if he were healthy. He's signed through the 2019-20 season and has about $34 million left on his contract after this campaign.

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