In a clever way to acknowledge that the team has little choice but to perform a do-over with the terrifying sight that is its official mascot, Pierre the Pelican, the New Orleans Pelicans issued a press release on Monday announcing that Pierre will undergo surgery to repair a broken beak.
According to the release, Pierre suffered the injury during a pickup game of basketball with some fellow NBA mascots and New Orleans Saints mascot Gumbo on Saturday, Feb. 8.
Yep, the Pelicans went all out with this bit.
The team had previously announced its intentions of doing a total redesign of Pierre and this “freak injury” (operative word being “freak”) is as good a reason as any to make the mascot less traumatizing of a sight.
A substantial excerpt from the press release follows (via NBA.com):
The injury occurred late in the pickup game as Pierre drove to the basket and was fouled by Grizz on the play. He sustained a broken beak after running into the padded stanchion on the goal.
Later today, Pierre will have surgery at Ochsner Medical Center to reconstruct the broken beak. Pelicans Team Physician Dr. Mathew McQueen will perform the surgery.
“This will be a rather unconventional surgery for us. I am not sure we have something to compare this to,” said McQueen. “It will be quite complicated and will require the use of some unconventional tools and instruments to reconstruct his beak.”
In order to ensure that Pierre receives the best care from the most experienced professionals, Carolyn Atherton, Curator of Birds for the Audubon Zoo, teamed up with McQueen to develop the best plan of treatment.
“We do see a lot of head trauma cases with pelicans. Since they are the plunge-divers, sometimes they’ll hit sharp objects and a lot of times, they’ll have tears in their pouch or even eye problems,” she said. “We’ve had quite a few pelicans we’ve treated for injuries similar to Pierre’s. After they’ve been treated, they’ve all come back looking bigger, stronger, faster and ready to take on the world.”
Alrighty then. Footage also is available of exactly how Pierre hurt his beak:
— Mason Ginsberg (@MasonGinsberg) February 11, 2014
Fans in the New Orleans market will be able to get an inside look at how Pierre’s surgery went as well as how his recovery is going during Wednesday’s Fox Sports New Orleans’ pregame coverage of the team’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
This is all well and good and clever and everything, but let’s hope something doesn’t go awry during surgery that will result in Pierre being even more terrifying than he was in the first place. That wouldn’t be good for anyone. Seriously, what kind of hellish demon pit spawned this kind of evil and dreadful birdlike creature?
[H/T Sporting News]