NEW ORLEANS — After missing the last 29 games with a sore left big toe, Brandon Ingram will return to the New Orleans Pelicans’ lineup Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Ingram last played on November 25 against the Memphis Grizzlies when he kicked the back of another player’s leg, injuring it.
Pelicans coach Willie Green said before the game, “You look at Brandon in his 5-on-5 game and you realize how high his basketball IQ is.” “His skill set is at a high level. He’s going to have some rust when he comes back. That’s part of the comeback as well. But he’s a skilled elite basketball player. What are guys like him and others like him in the NBA ..that’s what makes this league special”.
In 15 games this season, Ingram is averaging 20.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists on 47.2% shooting. He is also shooting 46.7% from deep, which would be his career best.
Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr., one of the team’s men to fill various roles during Ingram’s absence, waited for his teammate’s return.
“I’m excited to have him back for my own selfish reasons,” Nance said after the Pelicans’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. “When those guys are in, you have to pay enough attention to them so that us role players can really make a mark on the game. He makes plays, he gets that attention. He’s so selfless that the rest of us People will get our chance.” ,
The Pelicans will also play forward Naji Marshall on Wednesday. He has missed the last three games with pain in the big toe of his right foot.
Marshall climbed into a starting role with the absence of Ingram and Zion Williamson and averaged 16.4 points in his last 10 games, scoring in double figures in each.
New Orleans could be without rookie guard Dyson Daniels for a while. He sprained his ankle against the Nuggets, and Green said Wednesday he would be out for a while. Daniels left the Smoothie King Center on Tuesday with crutches and a shoe.