Hornets' Eric Gordon could return Saturday against Bobcats

Gordon could be back Saturday. (US Presswire)

Eric Gordon is making max money in New Orleans. But he's only played nine total games for the Hornets, with zero coming this season.

That's finally about the change. According to coach Monty Williams, via the Times-Picayune, Gordon is on track to make his return Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats.

"If I had to guess it would be Saturday against Charlotte,’’ Williams said before Wednesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic. "A lot of that is me, and we want to make sure that we bring him back when he’s in a lot better shape. He’s spent so much time rehabbing and getting his quad stronger, but we have to make sure he’s in a good place before he comes back.’’

Gordon is recovering from patella tendon disorder and a bone bruise in his right knee that required surgery last season. 

Gordon said in November he was unsure if he'd be able to play at all this season. As recently as Dec. 7 Gordon was said to be without a timetable, but he's obviously improving.

After being acquired as the key piece in the Chris Paul trade, the situation with Gordon has been a tense one in New Orleans. The frustration around his injury has been the central theme, but between signing a max offer sheet with the Suns that he publicly hoped the Hornets wouldn't match to the tension with the organization about his health, Gordon's time with the Hornets has not gone well at all.

But he's a vital part to their rebuilding plan, and with him, the Hornets have a pretty good young foundation. With the Hornets, albeit in just nine games, Gordon averaged 20.6 points and 3.4 assists per game. Combine him with Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Austin Rivers and Al-Farouq Aminu and there's certainly something there to be optimistic about.

It's not just his health, though. It's his mindset and with as frustrating as this injury stuff has been, it's opened up a lot of issues with the organization as both sides have clearly felt the pressure. The team has been bad, and Gordon hasn't been much of a help.

Getting him back, though, is the first step to going somewhere. He's clearly one of their franchise cornerstones and they signed him to a max deal to be a critical part to their success.

Now they're getting him back, and hopefully all that other stuff is just history now.

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