Hornets forward Kidd-Gilchrist needs surgery to repair torn labrum

Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season.

Chris Nicoll/Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is expected to miss the entire 2015-16 season after suffering a torn labrum in his right shoulder that will require surgery.

The 22-year-old starter injured his right shoulder in a preseason game against the Orlando Magic, with the team announcing that an MRI revealed the labrum tear on Monday. Kidd-Gilchrist met with Charlotte’s team orthopedist, Dr. Marcus Cook, on Tuesday, where it was determined that Kidd-Gilchrist will indeed need shoulder surgery.

The surgery will be performed by Cook at Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital on Tuesday night.

Kidd-Gilchrist signed a four-year, $52 million extension with Charlotte in September on the heels of his best season to date, one in which he averaged 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game and career-best efficiency numbers. He’s developed into one of the top perimeter defenders in the game and, with the help of former shooting coach Mark Price, he has improved his shot and offensive repertoire over his first three seasons.

The Hornets posted a 5-20 record without Kidd-Gilchrist in the lineup last season.

Where this leaves the Hornets in the Eastern Conference race is unclear, but they will certainly need to rely on newcomers Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lamb and Jeremy Lin to try to make up the difference on the perimeter. Still, the loss of Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft and an emerging young player in the league, will hurt their chances in what should be a more competitive conference this season.