Goran Dragic returned from his ankle injury Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans, scoring 12 points in 30 minutes of action, as the Phoenix Suns went on to win by a final of 101-94.
The return might be short-lived, however, as Dragic’s wife gave birth to the couple’s baby son, Mateo, Monday. Dragic missed practice to be with his wife, and his status for the team’s trip to Portland remains up in the air.
“That’s up to him,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “I know Goran, he’ll probably want to play. I don’t know how long the baby thing will last. Hopefully we have him.”
What’s also unclear is what the point guard’s role will be with the team once he does return from tending to family duties. With guard Eric Bledsoe thriving during Dragic’s three-game absence this past week (left ankle), Hornacek opted to use the Slovenian off the pine in Sunday’s victory.
However that too may be short-lived, as the first-year head coach admitted that he’s inclined to reinsert Dragic back into the starting lineup.
“Hopefully he gets back healthy where we can get a good rotation going, whether in the starting lineup or off the bench,” Hornacek said. “I’m leaning probably more towards starting. He played very well the first two games when he and Eric were out there together starting.”
Hornacek likes the combination of Bledsoe and Dragic, as both can run the offense, but added that things can change as the season goes on and expects Dragic to perform regardless of where he is in the lineup.
“We feel all of our guys will accept any role,” Horneck said.
The Suns play at Portland Wednesday and host the Brooklyn Nets Friday, meaning Dragic may not return until Nov. 19 when the team visits the Sacramento Kings.