Pelicans’ Rondo may need sports hernia surgery

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo may require surgery to fix a sports hernia, according to coach Alvin Gentry.

Rondo was scheduled to visit a specialist in Philadelphia on Monday before determining the next course of action with the injury. Gentry said on Sunday that he did not know how long Rondo will be sidelined, telling reporters that, “we’ll see what happens after he sees a specialist.”

Rondo, 31, signed a one-year, $3.3 million contract as a free agent over the offseason.

He suffered the injury during the first half of Friday’s preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and sat out Sunday’s game against his former team, the Chicago Bulls.

New Orleans opens the regular season Oct. 18 against the Memphis Grizzlies, and Rondo is not likely to be available. Gentry acknowledged that playing without the four-time All-Star would be a setback.

“Best I’ve been around in 30 years in the league as far as a guy who really takes young players under his wing and tries to teach them,” Gentry said, according to The Advocate. “He’s just a great leader to have on your team. If you want to have a mentor in this league, I would suggest him.”

E’Twaun Moore replaced Rondo in the lineup against the Bulls, the final preseason game in which the Pelicans’ starters were expected to see significant minutes. The team’s exhibition finale is on Friday.

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