This is stunning news. Absolutely stunning. Last night, Kidd-Gilchrist was only upgraded to questionable, and now he's been cleared to participate in the game. Will he actually play remains to be seen, but that it's even an option at this point is shocking to everybody. He wasn't even supposed to play this season. Now, he's going to be in uniform while it's still January.
If Kidd-Gilchrist is healthy enough to play, and the Hornets want to get him in the game, then he's probably going to be in the starting lineup tonight. Steve Clifford said in the past that MKG would immediately start as soon as he was available so he must be pretty confident in his health.
#Hornets HC Steve Clifford says Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will start immediately whenever he's cleared to play. Says "he's what we're lacking."— Chris Kroeger (@Kroeger) January 22, 2016
The question now is if it's okay to immediately throw him back into the fire like this. Nobody wants Kidd-Gilchrist to go back out there for his first game, take a shot to the shoulder, and immediately go back down. There's a lot of trust here that the Hornets are doing the right thing and not rushing him back.
That said, if MKG is fully healthy then this can only be good news for a Hornets team as severely injured as this one. He provides a defensive edge they've been missing all season, and with so many players out right now it's good to see one of the Hornets key players finally return. He'll most likely be rusty at first, but it will be good for him to shake off that rust before the All-Star break. Then, once everybody is fully healthy, Charlotte can make their run at a spot in the playoffs.