Charlotte Hornets backup point guard Michael Carter-Williams had a procedure on both knees in mid-July that could potentially cost him the preseason in recovery time.
Coach Steve Clifford revealed Carter-Williams’ condition at a luncheon Friday with Charlotte media members who regularly cover the team. Clifford said Carter-Williams isn’t cleared to work out with teammates on court, and it’s not a given Carter-Williams will recover in time to be available for the Hornets’ season opener Oct. 18 at the Detroit Pistons.
Carter-Williams, who has previously missed games with left knee pain, had Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments on the patella tendons in both knees. Doctors extract blood from a patient, extract platelets from the whole blood, and inject the PRP back in a damaged area.
It's a fairly common procedure for athletes seeking pain relief. Former Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon had it several years ago. Golfer Tiger Woods, football’s Troy Palamalu and baseball’s Bartolo Colon have all undergone PRP treatment, which was invented in the 1990s.
Clifford said that while he’s hopeful for a quick recovery by Carter-Williams, he can’t say with certainty when he’ll be cleared for full basketball activity.
Carter-Williams was the Hornets’ primary offseason free-agent signing. The 6-foot-6 former NBA Rookie of the Year accepted a one-season deal worth $2.7 million to back up Kemba Walker. If Carter-Williams misses much time, the Hornets will rely on third-string point guard Julyan Stone.
Carter-Williams’ injury could also mean more minutes for first-round rookie Malik Monk to experiment at point guard in the preseason. Monk’s position in his one season at Kentucky was shooting guard, but Clifford would like to explore whether the 6-3 Monk has the skills to handle some point.
Monk missed all of Orlando summer league in July with an ankle sprain.