If you are wondering about the Charlotte Hornets’ injury situation heading into training camp, it pretty much starts and ends at point guard.
Starter Kemba Walker has been fully cleared, following off-season knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Third-stringer Julyan Stone has a nagging groin injury, but said Monday that shouldn’t impede in the preseason.
The real concern is backup Michael Carter-Williams, the Hornets’ primary free-agent signing over the summer. Carter-Williams had platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedures on both knees over the summer to address patella tears and reduce pain.
Carter-Williams was cleared for on-court activity about two weeks ago, but he isn’t cleared for contact drills, as camp opens Tuesday morning at Spectrum Center. Carter-Williams is an important part of the Hornets’ remade second unit, and coach Steve Clifford said he doesn’t have a time projection on when Carter-Williams will be fully cleared.
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“I’ve had a lot of good days and a few bad days,” said Carter-Williams, who signed a one-season, $2.7 million contract in July. “Now it’s just about me putting a lot of load on them, and seeing how I feel the next day.
“It just wasn’t going away,” Carter-Williams said of the patella tendinitis he felt. “It just wasn’t going away. I had it for a long time and it was really affecting how I moved and how I jumped. I just felt like my athleticism was completely gone. Every time I pushed off or really tried to jump, there would be a lot of pain.”
PRP therapy involves drawing blood from a patient, then re-injecting it with a high platelet concentration into an injured area to promote healing.
One additional option at point guard could be rookie Malik Monk. Coach Steve Clifford planned to experiment with Monk (who played shooting guard at Kentucky) at the point in Orlando Summer League, but Monk missed those games while an ankle injury healed.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell