Charlotte Hornets forward Kelly Oubre Jr. will miss four to six weeks and will undergo surgery in the near future to repair a torn ligament in his left hand, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Oubre apparently first sustained the injury to his shooting hand in the first week of the regular season, but he’s played through it until recently. Now, he’ll be sidelined for at least a month.
It’s unclear how Oubre first injured the hand. He’s missed three of the Hornets’ last four games with what was called a left hand sprain. Oubre tried to return for their win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last week, but lasted just 14 minutes.
Oubre’s injury comes amid the best stretch of his career. He’s averaging a career-high 20.2 points per game this season, his eighth in the league. He’s averaged 5.1 rebounds and shot better than 42% from the field, too.
The 27-year-old is in the second year of a two-year, $24.6 million deal with the Hornets.
The Hornets have struggled so far this season with Oubre, something that is sure to get worse over the next month. They’re just 10-28 on the year — better than only the Detroit Pistons, though just barely — and have lost 13 of their last 16 games.
Oubre could have been a prime piece for the Hornets to move ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline, especially if things keep trending in the same direction for the organization. His injury, however, certainly complicates any potential trade talks.
If he’s out just four weeks, Oubre could return about a week before the deadline. If it’s longer, or if the recovery is complicated, a deal doesn’t seem likely.