Omer Asik could miss two weeks with ankle sprain

New Orleans Pelicans starting center Omer Asik could miss two weeks with a right ankle sprain, coach Alvin Gentry told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the team’s matchup with the Washington Wizards.

Asik, who has started 44 of the 48 games he’s appeared in this season, left Sunday’s win in Detroit in the first quarter after suffering the injury and did not return.

“To be honest, It was a little better than we thought after a day of seeing how it was going to respond,” Gentry said. “They’re projecting [him to be out] maybe two weeks, but we’ll see how it goes. Let’s hope that he’s a fast healer.”

Asik is the fourth starter now on the sidelines for the battered and bruised Pelicans. They are already without Tyreke Evans (right knee surgery) and Quincy Pondexter (left knee surgery) for the rest of the season, and also lost Eric Gordon on Jan. 20 for an expected four to six weeks after the shooting guard had surgery to repair the broken ring finger on his right (shooting) hand.

A six-year veteran, Asik signed a four-year, $45 million agreement, with a non-guaranteed fifth year, this past offseason to remain in New Orleans. The 29-year-old is averaging 3.8 points, on 55.1 percent shooting, 6.2 rebounds and a career-low 0.4 blocks in just 17.3 minutes a game, but ranks 20th in the NBA in ESPN defensive real plus-minus (3.34).

Alexis Ajinca is expected to start in Asik’s spot. Gentry also said that Kendrick Perkins, who has seen action in 11 games this season, will play "some" off the bench.