Report: Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic hoping to return vs. Cavs after 12-game absence
New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic has been sidelined for 12 games, but it sounds like he’s nearing a return. If everything checks out okay prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, there is hope that he will be able to play.
Mirotic, who participated in most of Tuesday’s practice session with no ill effects, was recently upgraded to “questionable” for Wednesday’s game:
Sources: Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic will test his right ankle prior to game against Cleveland tonight — and there's hope he can return after missing 12 games. Pelicans upgraded him to questionable this afternoon.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 9, 2019
The Pelicans will handle this situation with caution. If Mirotic is cleared for action, he’ll likely come off the bench at first on a minutes restriction.
Without a doubt, the Pelicans will be thrilled to have Mirotic back in their rotation. In his 25 appearances with the Pelicans this season (22 starts), the former 23rd overall pick has racked up averages of 17.4 points on 45.2 percent shooting from the field (34.8 percent from beyond the arc), 9.2 rebounds, an assist and just under one steal (0.8) in 30.0 minutes per outing.
The Pelicans, who handed the Cavs their ninth straight loss on Saturday, are riding a two-game winning streak. They’ll be looking to keep their momentum rolling:
“I just thought it was a really good team win for us because I thought, defensively, the last two games we’ve been really, really solid,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry told ESPN after Monday’s 114-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Wednesday night’s Pelicans-Cavs game is scheduled to tip inside the Smoothie King Center at 8:00 p.m. ET. Additional information with regards to Mirotic’s status should be released beforehand.