Mascot undergoes 'surgery'

Updated: February 11, 2014, 6:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New Orleans Pelicans' mascot has received a makeover.

The team had announced that Pierre the Pelican was to have reconstructive surgery for "a broken beak," which it reportedly suffered after running into a basket stanchion during a game with other mascots.

[+] EnlargeMascot Pierre the Pelican
Layne Murdoch/Getty ImagesPierre the Pelican has undergone reconstructive surgery for "a broken beak."

Team Physician Dr. Matthew McQueen performed the surgery Monday at Ochsner Medical Center and has indicated the procedure was quite involved. The Pelicans said a detailed account of the injury and recovery time will air during Fox Sports New Orleans' broadcast of the Pelicans' game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

"Injuries like this also affect other aspects of the skull, which had to be addressed." McQueen and his team of experts, including Curator of Birds for Audubon Zoo Carolyn Atherton, expect Pierre to make a full and speedy recovery.

"Pierre ... he is hardcore. He's already put as much into his rehab as I have seen any athlete put into his rehabilitation. He had a lot of help from his coworkers, supporters and fellow mascots. He's already quicker, faster, and stronger. I haven't seen anything like this in my life. Maybe there is something about bird recovery that is special. I wish we could see this in all the people we treat. It is amazing."

Grantland's Zach Lowe reported on Jan. 22 that New Orleans would re-design the mascot's head to make it "less scary." The Pelicans unveiled Pierre on Oct. 30, 2013, the team's first game as the Pelicans.

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