HOUSTON -- With just 19 days left and 11 games to play, center Omer Asik (illness) and shooting guard Quincy Pondexter (left knee) are unlikely to return for the remainder of the regular season, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.
“Both of those guys will be gearing toward the summer and next year, really,” Gentry said.
Asik, 30, has missed every game since the All-Star break after contracting a bacterial infection that caused him to lose significant weight. He has played just 14 total minutes in three appearances since the start of the calendar year.
“He went through a tough time trying to see what was wrong with him,” Gentry said. “I think it’s a slim chance that he’ll be back playing this year.”
Pondexter underwent a third surgery on his left knee in January. He has not played in an NBA game since the 2015 postseason.
“I don’t think so,” Gentry said of Pondexter returning this season. “Not with basically two-and-a-half weeks left in the season. I don’t know if that would be a possibility, either.”
The Pelicans, 30-41 overall, have collectively lost 144 games to injury and illness this season from players on their roster.
Twenty-five players have suited up for New Orleans, not including Pondexter, who has remained on the roster despite not having appeared in a game. The Memphis Grizzlies set an NBA record last season with 28 players.