Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson is expected to miss the next two to three weeks of games while recovering from a strained left calf.
An MRI confirmed the extent of the injury Monday after Jefferson had to sit out the second half of Sunday’s home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Jefferson left the game with just over five minutes left in the first quarter and did not return.
He left Time Warner Cable Arena in a protective boot Sunday. The Hornets did not practice Monday since they don’t play again until Wednesday night, at home versus the NBA defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Jefferson is third among Hornets in scoring this season at 13.7 points per game and is second in rebounding at 6.4 per game.
In Jefferson’s absence Cody Zeller started the second half at center. Others who could get additional minutes in Jefferson’s absence are Spencer Hawes, Frank Kaminsky and Tyler Hansbrough.
Hansbrough played for just the second time in 10 games Sunday and was effective in 8 1/2 minutes, guarding Bucks center Greg Monroe and scoring off an offensive rebound.
While losing a player of Jefferson’s ability is a hit, the Hornets’ improved depth this season makes them better equipped to absorb Jefferson’s absence the next couple of weeks.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell