All offseason/preseason long, we’ve talked about how the New Orleans Pelicans need to do everything in their power to avoid the injury bug in 2023-24. And not only does that not look like it is going to happen, but this time, the injury bug is hitting us before the regular season even begins.
Fan-favorite Naji Marshall is dealing with a bone bruise in his right knee. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks after leaving in the middle of the Pelicans’ third preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Keep in mind, when a team says that they are going to re-evaluate a player in two weeks, that doesn’t mean that they are going to be back on the court in two weeks. We saw this a couple of times last season with the Zion Williamson hamstring situation. They said they would re-evaluate him in X number of weeks. Then, they would give him a look and determine that he still needed more time before he was ready to go.
Hopefully, this isn’t what takes place with Marshall. We just wanted to clarify what teams normally mean when they use that phrase.
Marshall has a relatively good injury history (he played in 77 of 82 games last season). So, he shouldn’t miss too much time. If, for instance, he returned three weeks from today (so November 5th), he’d only miss the first six games of the regular season.
In isolation, losing Marshall for a few games isn’t a big deal. But the problem is that he’s already the fifth Pelican to be dealing with injuries prior to the start of the actual season. Jose Alvarado, Cody Zeller, and Larry Nance Jr. have all missed the entire preseason thus far.
And as many of you are painfully aware, Trey Murphy III (who started 65 games for us last year) will be out for at least the first month of the season.
We know that injuries are largely out of our team’s control (although clearly, they are doing what they can on their end to limit them). But we already lost the 2022-23 season because of injuries. We were hoping that those tough times would mean better injury luck this season, but so far, that just hasn’t been the case.