Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and center Cody Zeller are dealing with nagging injuries that could cause them to sit out one or more preseason exhibitions in the coming weeks.
Walker is coming back from elective knee surgery. Zeller still has some effect from a bone bruise in his right knee that he suffered in the playoffs last spring. Both are being held out of contact drills.
"Kemba and Cody aren’t at a stage yet where they can do anything with contact. Dummy offense and shooting drills," coach Steve Clifford said following Tuesday’s first practice of training camp at the Spectrum Center.
Undrafted rookie Perry Ellis can’t practice because of a sports hernia he suffered last month. It’s unclear when the former Kansas forward will be available.
"Perry really can’t do anything (physical) yet,’ Clifford said. "With the sports hernia, it’s about how he feels, making sure it’s healed before he does anything.
"He said he feels comfortable running forward, but it’s the lateral stuff where he can feel a little pulling."
The Hornets had a similar situation a couple of years ago when then-rookie forward Noah Vonleh suffered a sports hernia in September that cost him most of the preseason.
"It’s so hard for a guy their age to miss that (preseason) stuff," Clifford said. "But we really need to be careful" with this injury.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell