NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL-TV) – Jrue Holiday returned to the Pelicans facility for his first practice of the NBA season Thursday and the team couldn’t be happier.
Holiday is expected to play Friday night against the Portland Trailblazers after taking an indefinitely leave since the summer to care for his wife, retired soccer star Lauren Holiday, who had brain surgery last month just weeks after giving birth to the couple’s first child.
“I think he’s in a good place,” said Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “For him, it’s just good to be back … He’s been dying to get out there to play.”
“Just Jrue being here brings good vibes to the team,” said Anthony Davis.
The Pelicans sit at 2-10, the bottom of the Western Conference, but Holiday’s return could be a turning point for the team.
“We’ve had a tough time closing games out,” Gentry said. “I think Jrue will help us out with that.”
Holiday’s return is a good sign for his wife’s recovery, something that he and the Pelicans have always held as a top priority above the game of basketball.
“Everybody here was so supportive,” Jrue Holiday said. “We just kept praying that the surgery could handle the tumor and it went great.”
Guard Tyreke Evans also returned to practice on a non-contact basis Tuesday, Nov. 15. There is no timetable for Evans’ return to the court.