Charlotte Bobcats small forward Jeff Taylor will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon early in Fridays road victory against the Detroit Pistons.
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said its too early to speculate how many months Taylor will miss beyond the seasons conclusion. Clifford said that probably cant be determined until surgery further probes how serious the injury is.
But Clifford is confident Taylor will come out of this fine, based on his work effort.
What I relayed to him is its unfortunate for him and really unfortunate for his teammates, because hes a big part of this team, Clifford said. But his mindset has to be on his career now. And for his career, it shouldnt be a problem. From what other guys (rehabbing from similar injuries) have done, if he has the same approach to his injury that he has to improving his game, then he should come back and be 100 percent.
Taylor started the past eight games after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist broke his left hand in a road loss to the Dallas Mavericks Dec. 3. Kidd-Gilchrist will be in a cast at least until Dec. 27, when hell be re-evaluated. It seems unlikely hed play before early January at the earliest.
That means the Bobcats remaining options at small forward are Anthony Tolliver and newcomer Chris Douglas-Roberts. Tolliver started Saturdays home game against the Utah Jazz. The Bobcats can also shift shooting guard Gerald Henderson to small forward.
Clifford said hes not concerned that those three can handle the position until Kidd-Gilchrists return.
In Tolliver, hes always ready to play, hes solid and hes a very good competitor. We execute well when hes on the floor, Clifford said. In CDR, when he went in the game (Friday) night, he played well. His defense was excellent and offensively he played mistake-free. Hes an NBA player. Hes been around. You can throw him in there and execute when hes on the floor.
The Bobcats said Taylor will meet with Charlotte-based foot specialist Dr. Bob Anderson sometime in the coming days to determine the next steps in his treatment.
Rick Bonnell: (704) 358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell
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