Quincy Pondexter finally broke his silence.

The former New Orleans Pelicans’ guard told his story to ESPN, outlining the various surgeries, infections, rehabilitation stints and obstacles that sidelined him for two seasons.

During the string of 164 consecutive games missed, Pondexter never fully explained the situation publicly, appearing in the team’s locker room and training facility but declining interview opportunities at every turn.

It was revealed in the ESPN piece that Pondexter suffered a devastating MRSA infection earlier this year, amongst the multiple medical complications and operations he’s suffered through on his left knee.

It turned out to be the end of his stint with the Pelicans. Pondexter was traded to the Chicago Bulls earlier this month (in addition to a second-round pick) to clear cap space.

The trade allowed the Pelicans enough flexibility to sign forward Dante Cunningham and guard Tony Allen, who New Orleans is hoping can fill the void left behind by injured starting small forward Solomon Hill. League sources said Hill’s injury, which is expected to keep him out for six to eight months, prompted Pondexter’s trade, since the Pelicans needed immediate help at the position and couldn’t afford to gauge Pondexter’s progress slowly.

However, despite a two-year absence, Pondexter told ESPN he fully expects to play for the Bulls on opening night next month. He’ll likely be on a minutes restriction early in the season.

As Pondexter told ESPN, it’s been a long path to get back on the court, stricken by prolonged setbacks and endless hours of recovery time.

However, league sources familiar with the situation tell a slightly different story about Pondexter’s travails, from the Pelicans’ perspective. On one occasion, the Pelicans believed Pondexter was on the cusp of returning, only to learn his recovery had been derailed.