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Kidd-Gilchrist Undergoes Surgery
Wednesday, Feb. 17
Injuries Continue to Hinder Kidd-Gilchrist
The nightmare season for the fourth-year man continues. He missed the first 46 games of the season due to shoulder surgery just before the start of the year. In his return from surgery, Kidd-Gilchrist appeared in just six games before this most recent injury.
This has to be frustrating for the Hornets, who have seen Kidd-Gilchrist miss at least 20 games in each of the last three seasons.
He's shown limited improvement in his game while on the floor over his first three seasons as a starter for the team. Kidd-Gilchrist put up a career-high 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season, as he's been more lauded for his defensive capabilities as a versatile defender. This year, he averaged 13.5 points and seven boards a night coming into Feb. 10.
Head coach Steve Clifford was still optimistic when Kidd-Gilchrist was close to returning from surgery, as he told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer:
He can make a big difference in our team. He’s an elite defender. There are not many guys who can guard the other team’s primary scorer (night after night) and make it hard on them. Nobody can guard (Kevin) Durant or (Dwyane) Wade or LeBron (James) one-on-one. Nobody. But he’s smart and so good technically in a way that you have a chance without it being an all-out double-team. That makes a big difference.
The team had the league's fifth-best defense in the six games that Kidd-Gilchrist played, which makes losing him for the rest of the season very problematic.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.