Hornets' Batum out at least 6-8 weeks with elbow injury

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

The Charlotte Hornets have been dealt a crushing preseason blow, as Nicolas Batum will miss a minimum of 6-8 weeks after suffering a torn ligament in his left elbow, the team confirmed.

Batum left Wednesday's preseason game against Detroit in the opening minute with what the team initially called a sprained left elbow.

The swingman's consistency and two-way versatility have been invaluable to the Hornets over the last two seasons. He averaged a career-high 15.1 points and a team-leading 5.9 assists to go with 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 2016-17.

Batum has started 147 games for Charlotte and averaged 34.5 minutes per contest since being dealt by Portland in 2015. The 28-year-old is in the second year of a five-year, $120-million contract signed last summer.

The Hornets, who followed up a 48-win season with a disappointing 36-46 finish last year, were widely expected to return to the postseason in 2018, though Batum's injury certainly puts a dent in those expectations.

With him out of commission, the Hornets will likely turn to Jeremy Lamb and rookie guard Malik Monk.

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Hornets' Batum out at least 6-8 weeks with elbow injury
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