It’s approaching seven weeks since New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon returned to the lineup after missing the first 29 games with a patella disorder and bone bruise in his right knee.

Although he’s shown his value as the team’s franchise player with his enormous ability to make clutch shots from the perimeter and penetrate into the lane for layups, Gordon still remains under strict restrictions to avoid overworking his right knee.

Despite playing 16 games and emerging as the Hornets' second-leading scorer with a 16.4 average, Gordon is still not in the desired shape yet to play extended minutes.

"I came back not at 100 percent," Gordon said. "I was nowhere near in shape, I’m still not at 100 percent today. I’m still just battling through it."

According to team officials, there is no set timetable when Gordon will begin playing back-to-back games for the first time since returning Dec 29. With the All-Star break approaching next week, Hornets Coach Monty Williams also doesn’t know when Gordon will be taken off his minutes-per-game restrictions set by team doctors designed to avoid having him play more than 35 minutes a game.

"I would like to see it change," Williams said. "Those are the cards we’ve been dealt with. We can’t go against what the doctors want us to do. I’ll love to see him pour in one of those 25- to 30-point nights and dominate a game. But it’s hard to do that when you are not playing consistent number of minutes every night."