Charlotte Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder Wednesday in a road victory over the Indiana Pacers.
The Hornets provided no timetable for his recovery, but it appears unlikely the former University of Kentucky star will play again this season.
This is the second time in five months Kidd-Gilchrist has suffered that particular injury. He had surgery in October on the shoulder after injuring himself in a preseason exhibition in Orlando.
Kidd-Gilchrist suffered this most recent injury when he hit the floor under the Hornets’ basket and was fallen on by Pacers center Ian Mahinmi. Kidd-Gilchrist remained on the floor for several seconds, grimacing in pain.
While the projected recovery time for that previous injury was six months, Kidd-Gilchrist returned to the court late last month. The Hornets were 5-2 in the games Kidd-Gilchrist played, climbing back into playoff contention with a 27-26 record.
Had the season ended Wednesday, the Hornets would have qualified for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Kidd-Gilchrist is the Hornets’ top defender and has a level of energy infectious to the rest of the team.
With Kidd-Gilchrist gone, it seems likely coach Steve Clifford will again turn to P.J. Hairston as a starter. Starting Hairston avoided Nic Batum having to constantly guard the opposing team’s top perimeter scorer.
The Hornets are off for All-Star break. Their next game is Feb. 19 on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks.