Eleven days after he left the court in Miami due to aggravating a prior right shoulder injury, Anthony Davis is set to make his return tonight, in Wednesday’s home game vs. the Detroit Pistons. Pelicans fifth-year head coach Monty Williams confirmed that Davis will be in the lineup and start at power forward.
Dante Cunningham, who has been invaluable for New Orleans (32-28) while filling a variety of roles, will move to the reserve unit.
“His workouts have gone well,” Williams said of Davis. “He had a really good workout yesterday. A semi-workout this morning. He passed everything with flying colors, so we’re happy to have him back in the lineup.”
Asked whether Williams is concerned about a setback to Davis if he is contacted again in his right shoulder, the coach responded, “There’s always a concern. I’ve been through so much with Anthony in three years. He’s taken a lot of falls, a lot of hits, a lot of broken bones. So any time he takes a hit, our staff and organization is always careful with him. But he’s growing up right in front of us. He’s learned to play through a lot of injuries. This was one he couldn’t play through.”
Davis’ return means Cunningham will go back to a more familiar role of playing in the 20s minutes-wise. The veteran forward logged 40 minutes Sunday at Denver, then came back Monday and had to guard future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki and play 34 more.