Charlotte Hornets

Walker out with a groin injury

Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker will miss tonight’s game against the Boston Celtics and could miss additional time while healing from a groin injury he suffered Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.

However, the Celtics will also be without their starting point guard. About a half hour before tipoff the Celtics announced Rajon Rondo is out with a bruised left shin. Rookie Phil Pressey was scheduled to start in Rondo’s place.

Walker told the Observer at morning shootaround he injured himself late in the Wizards game while guarding point guard John Wall. Wall kept changing directions on his dribble, and Walker hurt himself.

Luke Ridnour will make his first start as a Bobcat tonight, with Jannero Pargo the backup point guard. Ridnour came to the Bobcats, along with Gary Neal, in a February trade with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ridnour doesn’t play much as a Bobcat (13.3 minutes per game). Walker is 18th in the league in average minutes played at 36 per game. The Bobcats are 4-3 this season when Walker has been out. Those games occurred before the trade, when Ramon Sessions was Walker’s backup.

Walker will be re-evaluated before Saturday’s home game against the Philadelphia 76es. But Bobcats coach Steve Clifford made it clear in his pre-game remarks Friday that his priority is getting Walker well for the playoffs, regardless of what remaining regular-season games he might miss.

“I want him to be ready to go. I don’t know how serious it is or how long he needs,” Clifford said. “He’s got to be right for playoff intensity.”

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