Pelicans Lose Star Forward With Toe Injury

The New Orleans Pelicans are tied for third spot in the bunched-up Western Conference standings at 11-8, but only one game separates them from 10th, so any prolonged absence of star forward Brandon Ingram will be trouble. Unfortunately, he had to leave Friday night's game with a sprained big toe, and his status is unknown.

Ingram's foot kicked into the back of another player's heel during the second quarter as he was bringing the ball across the center-court line. He tried to play through it, and his coach Willie Green even asked him mid-play if he was alright to continue. But a couple of possessions later, Ingram was done for the night. 

This isn't the first time Ingram has been lost to injury. Earlier this season, he missed four games due to a concussion. Last season, he missed 27 games due to an assortment of injuries; he hasn't played more than 62 games in a season since coming to New Orleans four years ago. 

Add in a number of injuries to other key players, and the Pelicans have only had their intended starting lineup together (Ingram, CJ McCollum, Zion Williamson, Jonas Valanciunas and Herb Jones) for 10 of the team's 19 games. 

The good news update on Ingram comes from head coach Willie Green:

Ingram has no structural damage to his toe, says Green, and that it’s more like a contusion than anything more serious. 

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports