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VOL. 128 | NO. 241 | Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pondexter’s Injury Latest Setback for Grizzlies

DON WADE | Special to The Daily News

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Quincy Pondexter met with the media before the Monday, Dec. 9, game against the Orlando Magic at FedExForum. In a hallway outside the Grizzlies’ locker room, using crutches to move in front of cameras and tape recorders. This is how it goes these days.

PONDEXTER

“It’s tough,” forward Zach Randolph said after the game, when the Grizzlies (10-10) with just nine available players beat the Magic 94-85. “Our guys are dropping like flies.”

Pondexter suffered a right foot fracture in the Saturday loss to the Golden State Warriors. All indications are he is out for the season. Center Marc Gasol is out for several more weeks with a knee injury and Monday night Tony Allen (hip) and forward Ed Davis (ankle) did not play; both injuries are considered day to day.

Pondexter said Monday a decision on surgery had not been made yet and he was still trying to digest the reality of the situation.

“I was expecting a week or two,” Pondexter said. “I’m gonna come back a million times better, stronger. I’m a workaholic. I’m gonna do whatever it takes so people forget about this injury.

“After I came back from knee injury (last season) people were worried … nah, I’m gonna be fine.”

But not “fine” anytime soon, judging by Pondexter’s comments.

“I’m gonna have a lot of time to recover for next season,” he said. “I’m already scheduling my workouts for next offseason.”

Pondexter, a 6-6 guard-forward who signed a contract extension in the offseason, was averaging 6.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18 minutes. He evolved as a 3-point shooting threat last season, but was shooting just 32.4 percent behind the arc this season.

Asked how he would describe his season, he said, “Terrible. I had some bright moments, but all in all I hadn’t found a rhythm yet. With our new staff, and new coaching, and new system I was in and out of the rotation. I didn’t get a rhythm yet and I was turning a corner. For this to happen, it’s tough, man.”

Pondexter said he injured his foot trying to fight through a screen set by Warriors guard Klay Thompson. Pondexter said he would weigh his options carefully before deciding whether to have surgery.

“I have to be smart about this,” he said. “I’m still a young guy, only 25, and I have a lot of basketball ahead of me.”

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