Zion Williamson
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson will have to carry the load for his team with Brandon Ingram still not ready to return from injury. Getty Images/Joe Murphy


  • Brandon Ingram is not yet ready to rejoin the Pelicans as he continues to deal with a left toe sprain
  • Ingram is wary of rushing a return and disrupting the chemistry of the Pelicans as of late
  • Willie Green is hoping Ingram would be ready by the playoffs to boost their chances

Brandon Ingram has been noticeably absent for over a month for the New Orleans Pelicans, and it remains unclear when the 25-year-old will spring back to action.

Ingram was present during the Pelicans' practice on Thursday, December 29 and mentioned that confidence was the biggest factor between him and returning to the hardcourt.

He suffered a left big toe sprain in the second quarter of their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last November 25.

"Confidence in pushing off," Ingram said. "Confidence in being back to who I want to be. Trying to be explosive, trying to just be myself. That's the biggest thing. If I don't feel like myself, then I know it's not time to be on the floor."

Furthermore, the second-overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft said that he remains unsure when he can officially return to NBA action, admitting that he does not feel quite ready yet.

Pelicans coach Willie Green added that it has not been easy for Ingram, having to go through a slow process that has been tough on the former Duke Blue Devil.

"Some days I feel really really good, and recovery is bad," Ingram said. "Some days, recovery is good. So whenever I feel 100 percent, I'll give it a go. But it's hard to say right now."

Regardless, the Pelicans are throwing their support to Ingram but are hoping to have him back soon.

The main prerogative is to have him back healthy and hopefully in time for the Pelicans' NBA playoff aspirations.

But even without Ingram, the Pelicans have managed to thrive.

Zion Williamson is leading the charge, a reason why the Pels tote a 22-12 win-loss record.

The 6-foot-8 cager is pretty much aware of that, yet another reason he is cautious since he does not want to disrupt the chemistry that the Pelicans have right now.

"It's pretty tough because I want to be on the court," Ingram stated. "Especially with our team success that we've been having lately, I want to be a part of it."

Ingram is also aware that when he does return, it won't be easy.

He will have to find a way to blend in with his teammates, particularly Williamson and CJ McCollum.

Brandon Ingram of New Orleans Pelicans
Brandon Ingram is not yet ready to return to the Pelicans' roster as he continues to deal with a left toe sprain. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images