'Elite basketball player': Pelicans to welcome back Ingram

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Brandon Ingram will return for the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves after missing the past 29 games with a left big toe contusion.

Ingram's return comes amid the Pelicans' five-game losing run which has seen them drop to a 26-22 record and fourth in the Western Conference.

The 25-year-old Pels forward has not played since November 25 against the Memphis Grizzlies when he sustained the injury by kicking the back of another player's foot.

Ingram is averaging 20.8 points on 47.2 per cent shooting, 5.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 15 games this season.

"You watch Brandon in his five-on-five games and you realise how his basketball IQ is at a high level," Pelicans coach Willie Green told reporters.

"His skill set is at a high level. He's going to be knocking some rust off when he does come back. That's a part of it, too.

"But he's efficient, elite basketball player. Guys like him and others like him in the NBA is what makes this league special."

Ingram was named the NBA's Most Improved Player for the 2019-20 season, earning his only All-Star selection in the process.