Gordon Hayward Out for Hornets vs. Hawks with Foot Injury

Erin WalshJanuary 23, 2022

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 15: Gordon Hayward #20 of the Charlotte Hornets shoots a free throw during the game against the San Antonio Spurs on December 15, 2021 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Hawks because of right foot discomfort, the team announced.

Hayward has struggled with injuries through the second half of his 12-year career. He appeared in just one game during the 2017-18 season, suffering a gruesome fractured and dislocated ankle in the Boston Celtics' season-opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

During the 2018-19 season, he played 72 games and then appeared in 52 games during the 2019-20 campaign. He exited the NBA's Orlando bubble that year after suffering an ankle injury, though he did return to the bubble.

Hayward also missed time during the 2020-21 season, his first as a member of the Hornets, after suffering a season-ending right foot sprain against the Indiana Pacers on April 2. He appeared in just 44 games last year.

When healthy, Hayward is a solid secondary scorer and supplemental player to youngsters LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges. The 31-year-old is averaging 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from deep this season.

The Hornets are 26-20, which is good for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They'll need Hayward to be healthy moving forward because they're undoubtedly better with him on the floor.