The Charlotte Hornets aren’t ready to rule center Al Jefferson out for the season just yet.
Coach Steve Clifford raised the possibility Friday in Indianapolis that Jefferson’s on-going right knee soreness could scratch him from the team’s remaining games. While Jefferson was out against the Philadelphia 76ers, Clifford said pre-game Saturday that the franchise will keep an open mind to playing Jefferson at least until the Hornets are eliminated from the playoff race.
In Jefferson’s absence Clifford started Bismack Biyombo at center and used Jason Maxiell as Biyombo’s backup. With Cody Zeller still out at power forward, Marvin Williams again started with rookie Noah Vonleh as his backup.
As to the Hornets’ other significant injury, Clifford said small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s left ankle is still quite swollen. Clifford had previously said the earliest Kidd-Gilchrist might play would be Tuesday in Miami. But based on the ongoing swelling, it’s hard to picture Kidd-Gilchrist playing against the Heat or at home Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.