Nicolas Batum Suffers Elbow Injury vs. Pistons

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Nicolas Batum #5 of the Charlotte Hornets handles the ball during the game against the New York Knicks on January 27, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  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 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

A sprained left elbow forced Charlotte Hornets wing Nicolas Batum to the sidelines during Wednesday's preseason game against the Detroit Pistons.

The team announced he would not return to the court.

Batum had only played one minute before suffering the injury and went straight from the court into the locker room, as Rod Beard of the Detroit News noted.

The 28-year-old has been able to avoid serious injuries so far in his career, appearing in over 70 games in each of the last five seasons. Only once in his first nine years in the league was he forced to miss more than 12 games.

While he has been a solid all-around player throughout his time in the NBA, the veteran continues to improve and put together some of the best numbers in his career.

The French star really filled up the box score in 2016-17, setting career highs with 15.1 points and 5.9 assists per game, to go with averages of 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals. He was one of only six players in the league to average 15-5-5 over the course of the year, per Basketball Reference.

This makes his absence significant for the Hornets as they try to compete in the Eastern Conference. Rookies Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon could get more playing time with Batum unavailable, but no one can replace his overall impact on the court if he is forced to miss an extended period of time.

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