Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist needs surgery on his right shoulder and will miss six months, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
Kidd-Gilchrist suffered the injury in the Hornets’ 90-77 preseason-opening win over the Miami Heat on Saturday. The 22-year-old left the game immediately and had to go to the hospital for treatment, where he was initially diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder. The Hornets said Monday the injury is a torn labrum, although they didn’t mention surgery and didn’t put a timetable on his return.
This is a tough blow for a Hornets team looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2014-15 campaign. While Kidd-Gilchrist still has his offensive flaws, he’s a key cog in Charlotte’s defense, and they played significantly better with him on the court last season.
Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t a stranger to injuries, as he played just 55 games last year and 62 games the year before that. That’s likely one of the reasons why he signed a four-year, $52 million extension this summer, a decision that’s looking even smarter now.
This injury will put more pressure on newcomer Nicolas Batum to step up on the wing. Batum had a down year last season because of injuries, and now his performance will be even more important than ever with Kidd-Gilchrist sidelined for possibly the entire 2015-16 season.