Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets: Guard Nic Batum won’t need elbow surgery

It appears Charlotte Hornets guard Nic Batum won’t need surgery to recover from a torn ligament in his left elbow, a source said Tuesday.
It appears Charlotte Hornets guard Nic Batum won’t need surgery to recover from a torn ligament in his left elbow, a source said Tuesday. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Hornets guard Nic Batum won’t need surgery to repair the torn ligament in his left elbow, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.

Batum suffered the injury in the first minute of a preseason exhibition Oct. 4 against the Detroit Pistons. A magnetic resonance imaging showed Batum suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left (non-dominant) elbow.

Batum flew to Dallas Monday to get a second opinion on the injury. The projection is still that Batum will miss a minimum of six to eight weeks with this injury.

Batum hyper-extended his elbow when wedged between small forward Stanley Johnson and another Pistons player in the first minute of Wednesday’s exhibition.

This is not a common injury for basketball players. It’s far more common for baseball pitchers, generally requiring Tommy John surgery. But Batum wouldn’t be putting nearly the same force on his elbow as a pitcher, particularly the left one, so surgery is not automatic in this case.

Batum is the most serious of several injuries for the Hornets this preseason. Here are the others:

▪ Point guard Michael Carter-Williams has yet to be cleared for full-court scrimmaging because of soreness in his knees. He will not play in Wednesday’s preseason exhibitiion at Spectrum Center against the Boston Celtics.

▪ Jeremy Lamb, who replaced Batum as a starter, left Monday’s exhibition in Miami with a soreness in hisleft groin. Lamb is listed as doubtful to play versus the Celtics.

▪ Starting point guard Kemba Walker also left the game in Miami, after being struck in the face during the game. He was not on the injury report the Hornets released Tuesday.

▪ Reserve point guard Julyan Stone is questionable to play against the Celtics with a sore hamstring.

▪ Reserve small forward Treveon Graham has missed time with a hamstring injury. He will not play versus the Celtics.

The Hornets will have to rely more on depth to start the season than originally planned, particularly with rookie guard Malik Monk, the 11th overall pick, and possibly second-round pick Dwayne Bacon, who can play small forward and shooting guard.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell

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