Talented New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon played only 9 games last season, mainly because of a recurring injury to his right knee. Guess what? Hours before their regular season tips-off, Gordon has been ruled out indefinitely.

Hornets coach Monty Williams spoke with Jimmy Smith of The Times Picayune this morning, explaining why Gordon can't play.

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"He probably does feel pain; that would be the only reason why a guy can't play," Williams said. "For me to try to read an MRI . . . .I'll find out more as we go forward. I try to not get into all that because that would just make me upset."

Williams said on Monday he would check with team physician Dr. Scott Montgomery to ascertain if playing Gordon would cause additional damage.

"I've checked with Doc," Williams said, "but for him to explain to me what's going on with his body and then have Eric feel a certain way doesn't matter. You know what I'm saying? If Doc says one thing and the guy is feeling another, then you have to . . . what am I supposed to say?

Gordon out indefinitely with knee problems-nola.com

It didn't seem far-fetched to think this young Hornets squad could make a run at the 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. However, that prediction rested largely on Gordon's ability to stay healthy.

With a fanbase already questioning Gordon's desire to play in Louisiana at all (based on comments he made in July about his "heart" being in Phoenix) after the Hornets matched a Suns' offer sheet, this news will surely make Eric's relationship with the fans that much more shaky. The 23-year old is aloof to begin with, and many fans have been hesitant to buy into his committment. That many not seem fair, but is understandable from a fanatical point of view. After all, if you read Monty's quotes, one gets the sense that he's medically cleared, but it's more about a pain threshold for Gordon.

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Eric seems to have legitimate knee pain, and since he can't play on it right now, New Orleans will proceed until he's ready to return to the lineup. Injuries happen. For some players, they happen often. For Gordon, they never seem to go away. It's concerning when you've committed $58 million over 4 years, but don't write the book on Eric yet, though the early chapters have all been a major disappontment. Indefinitely could mean three weeks, three months, or an entire season. Let's hope it's more on the short-term basis.

Perhaps the most anticipated season since the Hornets arrived in Louisiana begins tonight. It's hard not to let this news put a damper on it.

I suspect several costumes tonight will be in a #10 Hornets jesey with crutches. In less than one year in the Crescent City, Gordon has been more trick than treat.

Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone.