Payton has not played since the fourth game of the regular season against the Brooklyn Nets, as he’s missed the last 22 games due to a broken finger.
However, after a lengthy stay on the sidelines, it sounds like Payton is very close to getting back on the court for the Pelicans.
Elfrid Payton is probable.
After last nights game in the locker room as Elfrid was leaving, Anthony Davis said, “I’m getting my dawg back.”
AD knew. Now we know. Elfrid will be back very soon. https://t.co/JCqREsxfHT
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) December 30, 2018
In what has obviously been a small sample size, Payton is averaging 9.7 points, 5.3 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game this season, with the Pelicans winning their first four games before he was forced to sit out.
Things look a little different for the team right now, as New Orleans sits at 16-21 on the season after a recent stretch of losses.
The Pelicans endured a five-game losing streak before getting a much-needed win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, but they weren’t able to keep the momentum going in suffering a 108-104 loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday.
Of course, getting Payton back will certainly be a nice boost, and it may take some attention away from the trade talks surrounding star forward Anthony Davis.
This upcoming stretch of games will be crucial for the Pelicans, as after the matchup against Minnesota, they’ll prepare for a lot of road trips over the next several weeks.
The Pelicans will start the first of back-to-back road games on Wednesday night when they take on the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.