Malik Monk Day-to-Day After Thumb Injury Initially Diagnosed as Fracture

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

Charlotte Hornets' Malik Monk answers a question during an end of season news conference for the NBA basketball team in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 11, 2018. The Hornets wrapped up what new GM Mitch Kupchak said has to be considered a
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Malik Monk just caught a break by avoiding one.

According to a press release from the Charlotte Hornets, "After originally being diagnosed as a right thumb fracture in Las Vegas, Monk’s images were further reviewed by the Hornets team physicians and it has been determined that his thumb is not fractured. His status will now be listed as day-to-day."

Monk was originally slated to be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks.

While it remains to be seen if Monk will return for any Las Vegas Summer League games, it's certainly a major relief for the Hornets to see his injury status upgraded. The second-year shooting guard looked good in his only Summer League game, scoring 23 points and adding four assists, and is expected to be a key player for the Hornets in the 2018-19 season. 

Monk, 20, had his moments for the Hornets during his rookie season, albeit in a limited role off the bench. He averaged just 6.7 points and 1.4 assists in 13.5 minutes per game. He made 63 total appearances, though he wasn't given any starts by the team's former head coach, Steve Clifford. 

New head coach Jeff Borrego, however, seems inclined to feature Monk more extensively. 

"Monk is a major player for us next [season]," he told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer in June. "I knew he was a shooter but being up close to him is impressive. This guy has a chance to be an elite shooter, a very consistent shooter. Someone we can play through for different stretches of a game."

He also evaluated his potential role in May, per Bonnell:

"I see him as a playmaker, who can play with Kemba [Walker] and also be on the court without Kemba, creating offense for us. [Or] pairing him and Nic Batum in a lineup where Nic is facilitating. 

"He's a combo [guard]. I don't know until I get my hands on him where I'm going to put him or how we're going to play him. But he's just going to be a very good basketball player who fits today's NBA. A kid that is dynamic and can shoot it already."

Monk may still come off the bench, with Walker and Batum remaining the projected starting backcourt. But it's clear Monk will be a far more important figure for the Hornets this season. And without any of the limitations that a broken thumb may have imposed over the next two months, he should hit the ground running come training camp.