The news we all feared is hear.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has suffered another torn labrum in his right shoulder, the same one he injured this preseason and caused him to miss the team's first 46 games, the Charlotte Hornets announced on Thursday. The team said they would reevaluate Kidd-Gilchrist after the All Star break, but the chances of the small forward making another miraculous comeback and returning this season are slim at best.
The injury happened during Wednesday's victory over the Indiana Pacers, when Ian Mahinmi landed on top of Kidd-Gilchrist while the two were fighting for a loose ball.
Kidd-Gilchrist had been averaging 13.5 points and seven rebounds while shooting 54.1 percent from the floor over his first six games this season. In the seven games since his return, the team went 5-2, including victories over Cleveland, Chicago, Indiana and Washington.
The news puts a major damper on a squad that should be riding sky high, entering the All Star break with a record of 27-26, good for the eight seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets will need to find some way to replicate what they did early this season without their star forward. Expect P.J. Hairston to reenter the starting lineup and to hear the team mentioned early and often in trade talks when the trade deadline approaches.
Charlotte still has a chance to make some noise this season, but it just became a whole lot harder.