DALLAS (AP) — New Orleans guard Austin Rivers said he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season after the Hornets rookie sprained his right ankle in a preseason game Monday night.
Rivers did not return after he landed awkwardly on a layup attempt in the second quarter of the Hornets’ 87-74 loss to Dallas. The Duke product, the 10th overall pick in this past summer’s draft, had X-rays on his ankle and those came back negative.
New Orleans coach Monty Williams said Rivers will undergo an MRI on Tuesday. Rivers had surgery on the same ankle in June to remove bone spurs.
The Hornets open the regular season Oct. 31 at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
“Even if there’s a little bit of pain, I’ll still try to play,” Rivers said. “So I think I’ll be ready to go opening night. I just plan to keep working and have (the medical staff) do what they do best.”
Rivers went down immediately clutching his right leg with 3:21 left in the first half. The son of Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was not putting any pressure on his right leg as he was helped off the court.
Rivers was wearing a walking boot after the game. He is averaging 7.5 points in six preseason games.
“I don’t think it’s too serious,” Rivers said. “It’s one of those everyday basketball ankle sprains. I’ll be back.”