Ryan Anderson to return to Pelicans lineup Wednesday vs. Lakers

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Ryan Anderson has missed the last 18 games for the Pelicans with a right knee injury, but with just nine games left in the regular season, he’s set to return to the lineup Wednesday night against the Lakers.

From Jim Eichenhofer of the Pelicans’ website:

Anderson was sidelined Feb. 21 at Miami with the injury; at times it appeared to Monty Williams that the reserve catalyst may not be able to return this season, but his condition improved greatly recently.

“We’ve been chomping at the bit to get all of our guys back on the floor,” Williams said. “To get Ryan back at this point of the season is big for our group. Our guys know Ryan’s value. It’s good that he’s taken a turn for the better in the last two weeks. About a week and a half ago I started thinking, maybe he’s going to come back and play this year. Because before that, we didn’t know. So it was exciting (to see Anderson’s progress).”

New Orleans went 11-7 with Anderson out of the lineup, but he could be a huge boost for the team off the bench as they battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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The Pelicans currently trail the Thunder for the eighth spot by two-and-a-half games in the standings.

Anderson is averaging 14.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game, while shooting better than 40 percent from three-point distance.