Barring a pregame setback, it appears Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will be available to start in Thursday’s home game against the Houston Rockets.
Zeller has missed the past seven games with a quadriceps contusion. The Hornets went 1-6 in that span.
Coach Steve Clifford said his plan is to start Zeller at center if he can play. Clifford has been using Frank Kaminsky, primarily a power forward, as the starting center the past two games.
Zeller went through all the drills in Thursday morning’s shootaround. He said the final test was full-court sprinting, and that went well.
The Hornets have had their preferred starting five – Zeller, power forward Marvin Williams, small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, shooting guard Nic Batum and point guard Kemba Walker – for only 27 of 52 games this season. The Hornets, who are 24-28 overall, have a 16-11 record this season when all five preferred starters are available.