The Charlotte Hornets are listing Kemba Walker as doubtful to play against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. Walker, who suffered a left shoulder AC contusion in Saturday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, did not practice with the team today.
Along with Walker, the team lists forward Frank Kaminsky as probable to play despite a right foot sprain.
If Walker doesn’t play, Michael Carter-Williams will start, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
Kemba Walker did not practice for @hornets today. Listed as doubtful to play vs. Raptors Wednesday. If Kemba doesn’t play, MCW starts.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) November 28, 2017
This is obviously worrisome given Walker’s importance to the team. Averaging 22.3 points and 6.2 assists per game, Walker leads the team in both points and assists. His absence creates a significant hole for a team struggling to find consistency.
Hopefully, this isn’t a long-term issue. Walker returned during the San Antonio game, but it’s clear the injury needs time to heal. Carter-Williams is a solid, short-term option, but the Hornets can’t afford for Walker to miss an extended period of time.
With MCW starting, we’ll likely see Malik Monk back in the rotation. It isn’t ideal that he plays due to Walker’s absence, but it at least offers the rookie another chance to earn a permanent spot in the rotation.