Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams is either really lucky or bionic: 12 1/2 seasons into his NBA career, Williams suffered his first significant ankle sprain as a pro Monday in the road loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Williams was ruled out for Wednesday’s road game against the Atlanta Hawks. Frank Kaminsky will start in his place at power forward, but Williams told the Observer following Tuesday’s practice that the swelling in his left ankle wasn’t bad, so he’s hopeful he won’t miss many games before being cleared to play again.
Williams suffered the injury in the second half of the 105-96 loss, when he stepped on teammate Kemba Walker’s foot. Williams fell to the court, and when teammate Nic Batum tried to help him up, Williams couldn’t put weight on the joint. An X-ray showed no evidence of a fracture, and Williams was fitted for a protective boot, which he wore while watching practice at Philips Arena.
Williams was in pain overnight, but said treatment with ice and electric stimulation has limited swelling.
“I feel OK. Last night was rough, obviously, trying to sleep and stuff. I’ll get as much treatment as I can. I do feel better than last night,” Williams said. “(The swelling) is not terrible. I’ve never been a huge sweller, anyway.”
Williams’ experience with ankle sprains is. ...
“Zero,” Williams said. “Everybody is surprised. I tweaked my ankle a little bit a couple of years ago in the San Antonio game, my right ankle. And that’s been my only real experience with an ankle sprain. This is my first real ankle sprain.
“I’m blessed: no ankles, no knees. I’ve had an Achilles (tendon rupture in 2013) and a back (injury).”
Williams said he has no idea how long he will be out, but his history suggests optimism.
“In the past, I have healed fairly quickly, and I do as much as I possibly can to speed that process. I’ll just continue to get as much treatment as I possibly can, and I’ll do as much as I can to stay conditioned. We’ll just see as we go.”
Wednesday against the Hawks will be the first game (and start) Williams will miss this season. That means the first start of the season for Kaminsky, who is averaging 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 23 minutes this season.
Hornets coach Steve Clifford said the backup minutes at power forward will be shared by Johnny O’Bryant and Treveon Graham. Graham is the more experienced player of those two, but he’s smaller than O’Bryant (6-foot-5 versus O’Bryant at 6-9). Clifford said the mix of minutes between Graham and O’Bryant will fluctuate game-to-game, relative to the matchup against opposing teams’ power forwards.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell