Pelicans’ Holiday using water therapy to combat stress reaction

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday. 

Marc Lebryk/Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans starting point guard Jrue Holiday is battling hard to prevent a stress reaction in his lower right leg from growing more severe and turning into a full-blown stress fracture.

It takes patience, but Holiday says he learned from his mistakes last season.

"Last year when I had the stress fracture, there was a time my leg hurt, but I kept playing and kept playing until the bone finally cracked," Holiday said. "That’s the dreaded black line on the MRI. Thankfully I’m not there yet this time."

Holiday is in a fair amount of pain though. He describes it as a 5 on a scale of 1-to-10. That’s not stopping him from being as active as possible though.

"I can work out my upper body, anything above my torso," Holiday said. "I’ve also gotten in the water to try to do some lower body things without putting any pressure on my legs."

The pool workouts have achieved mixed success. They are allowing Holiday to have a more diverse rehab regiment, but athletic trainers recently cancelled part of the workout called karaoke, afraid that it was too much too soon. In this case, karaoke refers to a series of side-to-side steps to stretch the hips and legs.

Holiday is expected to miss 2-4 weeks, and so far there is no update on his timetable for return.

In the meantime, Holiday is dedicating himself to his rehab and to helping the reserve point guards, Jimmer Fredette and newcomer Nate Wolters, who just signed his second 10-day contract.

"I’m not trying to be Captain Obvious and point out things they know are wrong," Holiday said. "But with guys like Jimmer and Nate, who haven’t gotten a lot of playing time yet, I can help them with what to expect from certain opponents. Also, with spacing and where to be and where best to get the ball to Ryan, Tyreke and Eric. It’s different. It sucks to sit out, but I’m still here, looking for ways to support my team."

Last season, Holiday’s stress fracture required surgery to properly address. His current stress reaction is located just below last year’s injury.