Everybody knew the injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was bad, but nobody knew how bad. Unfortunately, it's the worst case scenario. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will likely miss the entire season following shoulder surgery, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Yahoo Source: Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will undergo shoulder surgery, likely to miss the season. http://t.co/wLyhBDvchL— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 5, 2015
It can't be stated enough exactly how much of an impact this has on the Hornets. MKG just signed an extension over the summer, because Charlotte wants him to be part of their future. The Hornets historically have a losing record when Kidd-Gilchrist doesn't play at all. Not just last season, but throughout his entire career. This is the anchor to their defense, and he's out for the season. Not only is he the anchor, but he's arguably their best player. His offense was finally coming around, and maybe that's overstating his value, but the Hornets needed MKG. Without him they just aren't the same team on either end of the floor, and he's only 21 years old. This was the year he was supposed to finally break out, and maybe assert himself as a star. Instead, he'll spend it in a suit.
Injuries in general are terrible. That it had to happen to a guy that works as hard as Kidd-Gilchrist is just flat out depressing. Whether it's his jumpshot, his history of stuttering, or just the game of basketball he was always willing to take it head on, and get better at that. Now, he has to miss an entire season of his career, and everything about it is sad.
The Hornets will likely adjust by moving Nicolas Batum to the small forward spot, and they have a lot of work ahead of them to find a suitable replacement at shooting guard. Guys like Jeremy Lamb, or maybe even Jeremy Lin, come to mind, but that doesn't change just how much this sucks. The season is less than a month away, and not once are we going to get to see him chase down someone for a block, switch on to an elite point guard, or get to see an incredible perimeter defense with him and Batum. Worst of all, MKG is having a year of his career taken away from him, and I'm 100 percent sure that he hates that more than anybody else.
Get well soon, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.