NBA: Pelicans’ Trey Murphy III has a meniscus injury in his left knee


FILE – New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III (25) moves down the court in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in New Orleans, March 21, 2023.  (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman, File)

NEW ORLEANS— New Orleans Pelicans forward Trey Murphy III, a 2021 first-round draft choice who emerged as a frequent starter and reliable scorer last season, injured the meniscus in his left knee while working out at team headquarters on Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the injury has not been discussed publicly by the club or Murphy.

The severity of the injury, which was first reported by ESPN, is not immediately clear, and Murphy is expected to receive additional examinations in coming days, the person said.

Murphy, who is among New Orleans’ top 3-point shooters, averaged 14.5 points per game last season, his second in the NBA.

Drafted 17th overall out of Virginia in 2021, Murphy worked his way into a regular role by the end of his rookie season and started 65 games last season, when he averaged about 31 minutes per game.

Murphy shot 41% from 3-point range during the 2022-23 season and also distinguished himself as a player who could finish with a flourish above the rim — so much so that he was invited to participate in the NBA All-Star weekend dunk contest. Murphy finished second in the dunk contest behind Philadelphia’s Mac McClung.

The recovery time from meniscus injuries is wide-ranging, depending on severity.

If Murphy needs a surgical repair, he could be sidelined for several months. If he only requires an arthroscopic meniscectomy, he could return before the Pelicans’ opening regular season game on Oct. 25 at Memphis.

New Orleans’ first preseason game is on Oct. 10, at home, against Orlando.

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