Williams originally suffered the injury during the team’s preseason game against the Chicago Bulls. He left the game in the first half and had x-rays at halftime but he was only diagnosed with a left middle finger sprain at the time. The Charlotte Hornets were cautious and kept him out for the remainder of the game but with more information, we now know that Marvin suffered a non-displaced fracture.
The 30-year old big man will only have a short time to recover as the season opener is on Wednesday, October 26th against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hornets only have two more preseason games this year against the Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Marvin will only have about a week before the regular season begins. It is difficult to see him full recovered in that short amount of time but because the injury is on his left hand, he may be able to play through it.
Charlotte dealt with a number of injuries last season so it is disappointing to see Williams go down at this stage in the year. The team said that Marvin will be re-evaluated on October 25th, before the regular season begins. The optimism from coach Clifford is telling of the injury and while a broken finger sounds bad, it is an injury that players can sometimes play through.
It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the Hornets as no one had been seriously injured this preseason. Marvin Williams is their vocal leader and was arguably their most consistent player last season. The 6’9 power forward averaged 11.7 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 1.4 assists per game in 2015-16.
If Williams is forced to miss an extended period of time, expect to see Frank Kaminsky fill in as the starting power forward. Christian Wood will also see added minutes as he will take over Kaminsky’s back-up role, as this was the case in the game when Marvin went down. The injury leaves a hole in the team but they will get a chance to see how they adjust to life without their starting power forward for the rest of the preseason.
Hopefully the minor injury doesn’t linger and Marvin Williams can return to the team sooner rather than later. He is a key player for the team and a major part of their success. After playing in 81 games last season, the starting power forward wasn’t a player that many expected to suffer an injury.