- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans starting point guard Jrue Holiday has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right leg and will be sidelined two to four weeks, the Pelicans announced Wednesday night.

“It’s unfortunate for Jrue because he was playing well. He’s a big part of our team,” coach Monty Williams said before the Pelicans tipped off against the Los Angeles Lakers. “It’s just one more obstacle that we have to and can overcome.”

Holiday, who is averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 assists, had missed New Orleans’ previous four games with pain and swelling in his lower leg, but had been listed as day-to-day with an inflamed ankle.

Holiday said he didn’t believe his latest injury had anything to do with a stress fracture in the same leg that required surgery and caused him to miss most of last season. Both injuries appear more similar, but Williams stopped short of saying they were related.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s the same leg,” Williams said. “I could see where you could connect the dots in that situation.”

While Holiday’s absence will be extended, Anthony Davis returned from a sprained toe on his left foot for Wednesday night’s game, while guards Kobe Bryant and Ronnie Price returned for the Lakers.

Davis had missed three games. Bryant was rested for the Lakers’ past two games and Price missed two games with elbow soreness.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said the 36-year-old Bryant has no particular injury and that the club is simply trying to preserve his body as he gets older, similar to what San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has done with some of his older stars such as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

“Pop has made this something that almost every team is starting to do,” Scott said. “I think it’s more weird for Kobe because it’s something he’s never had to deal with.”

Scott said he will limit Bryant to 32 or fewer minutes during the next 10 to 15 games, and also give Bryant intermittent games off.

Bryant has averaged 22.6 points this season, but the Lakers entered the game at 12-30, well out of the Western Conference playoff picture.

“He’s going to have games when he’s going to rest. … It’s just something we’ve got to live with,” Scott said of Bryant. “Right now, he’s more than willing to do that.”

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