Pelicans' Lance Stephenson diagnosed with groin injury, out indefinitely

The already thin New Orleans Pelicans became even thinner on Saturday as the team announced that Lance Stephenson was diagnosed with a groin injury and will require surgery. The Pelicans have not given a timetable for Stephenson's return.

After not drawing much interest on the free agent market, Stephenson signed a one-year deal with the Pelicans in the offseason that was virtually unguaranteed. Stephenson was undeterred however and played himself onto the team, earning the final roster spot on the Pelicans.

But with injuries to Tyreke Evans and the excused absence of Jrue Holiday, Stephenson has found a role in New Orleans, coming off the bench and initiating the offense as a primary ball-handler. Through the Pelicans' first six games, Stephenson is averaging 9.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 27 minutes a game.

With Stephenson injured, the Pelicans will likely give increased roles to Tim Frazier, Langston Galloway and E'Twaun Moore. Stephenson could be out for a considerable amount of time, so the Pelicans could add a 16th player through the hardship exception, according to The Vertical's Bobby Marks.

New Orleans has yet to win this season and now with another role player like Stephenson getting injured, the hole the Pelicans are in just keeps getting deeper.

CBS Sports Writer

Ananth Pandian has been writing about all NBA-related things including the social and lifestyle aspect of the sport for CBS Sports since 2015. His name is actually easy to pronounce, just remember it is... Full Bio

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