The New Orleans Pelicans could be without guard Trey Murphy III to start the season.
Murphy sustained a meniscus injury in his left knee during a workout at the team’s practice facility Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s unclear how severe the injury is — Murphy is due to undergo further testing in the near future — or if he will need surgery.
If the tear is minor, Murphy could be available in time for the team’s season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 25. That game is about seven weeks out. If Murphy ends up needing surgery, however, he could be sidelined for months.
Murphy is coming off a breakout season in the league. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists — all of which were career highs — and shot better than 48% from the field and nearly 41% from behind the arc.
The 23-year-old was first selected by the Grizzlies with the No. 17 overall pick in 2019 out of Virginia, though he was dealt to New Orleans soon after. Murphy is entering the third year of his four-year, $14.7 million rookie deal this fall.
The injury is just the latest the Pelicans have dealt with in recent years. Star Zion Williamson has played in just 114 regular-season games in four years due to various injuries, and he appeared in just 29 games last season. Brandon Ingram missed 37 games last season, too. The Pelicans went 42-40 last season, which was their first winning record since the 2017-18 campaign, though they missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons.