Charlotte is going to be without $120 million man Gordon Hayward for a little while.
Hayward “sustained an avulsion fracture of his fifth metacarpal on his right hand” during Tuesday night’s preseason game against Orlando, Charlotte announced Wednesday. The team officially lists Hayward as “day to day,” although this injury usually takes weeks to heal. A return is often more about pain tolerance, and this is also on Hayward’s shooting hand.
The fifth metacarpal is the bone that runs from the pinky finger to the wrist. An avulsion fracture is where a strain to ligament pulls a little bit of bone off where the two connect.
All of this sounds worse than it is medically, and while it is painful, rest is usually the only treatment needed. This is not something that requires surgery or extensive time off.
Without details it’s impossible to estimate a recovery timeline, but this is usually more weeks than days.
That timeline would be a blow to the Hornets as they enter the season. Charlotte was counting on the steady hand and shot creation of Hayward to keep some of the pressure off rookie LaMelo Ball, who now will have the ball in his hands even more. Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists last season in Boston.
Hayward’s absence could move Miles Bridges back into the starting lineup temporarily in Charlotte. Expect Terry Rozier and Malik Monk to see a bump in minutes until Hayward returns.