“It leaves little hope that Kidd-Gilchrist can return to the lineup this season”, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski said. That was a look they surprisingly leaned on late last season, though it was easier to do with Mo Williams as the off-ball shooter than Jeremy Lin, this year’s backup.
Kidd-Gilchrist is a key player for Charlotte. He posted modest averages – and career-highs – of 10.9 PPG and 7.6 RPG and produced with a bit more consistency. He was starting to establish himself as a capable rebounder, and his jump shot, though still unorthodox, was much improved. Batum has scored 14 points with six rebounds and three assists in his first game of the the preseason against the Orlando Magic. Now, it appears that progress could come to a screeching halt.
Kidd-Gilchrist is scheduled to meet with team orthopedist Dr. Marcus Cook Tuesday to go over his options.
The Charlotte Observer reports that MKG can opt to undergo six to eight weeks of rehabilitation but is prone to re-injuring his shoulder.
In his absence, Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb who were acquired via trades in the offseason will probably get his minutes, per Yahoo!
Even if Kidd-Gilchrist beats the timeline, he’d have to beat it by a wide margin just to make half of 2015-16.
Kidd-Gilchrist had even come to embody an organisation making bold changes in an attempt to push to the forefront. Charlotte could also go with two point guards in Kemba Walker and Lin. MKG missing one-third of the season was arguably the biggest single factor in the Hornets missing out on their second straight playoff berth.
It’s an unfortunate situation.
The rare defensive anchoring wing defender, Kidd-Gilchrist’s loss will be one the Hornets can’t replace without outsourcing for talent. This felt like it would be a breakout year for him.
The team signed him to a four-year, million contract extension over the off-season, which reinforces his importance going forward.