Michael Carter-Williams health to start the season is in doubt. The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that Carter-Williams had a knee procedure in July, and has not returned to the court yet.
Bonnell spoke with head coach Steve Clifford, who stated that MCW may not be ready to go for the season opener against the Detroit Pistons on October 18th:
.@hornets update: Michael Carter-Williams had a knee procedure in August and is not yet back on the court (more)...— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) September 8, 2017
Steve Clifford says it is not a given MCW will be ready for the season-opener.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) September 8, 2017
It’s unknown whether this came as a result of a recent injury. However, Carter-Williams has a history with various injuries dating back the past couple of seasons. He played in just 45 games a season ago with the Chicago Bulls, missing time due to a bone bruise in his left knee and a bone chip in his wrist. He also missed roughly half the season with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2015-16 after tearing the labrum in his left hip. The injuries have in part made it more difficult for him to build off winning rookie of the year in 2013-14.
If he is unable to go, third point guard Julyan Stone will likely see playing time as the backup point guard. Stone signed last month after being released by his club team in Italy, a lengthy process that at one point seemed unlikely to happen. Like MCW, Stone is a big point guard at 6’6 who should help defensively when paired with 6’3 rookie Malik Monk.
Stone acts as a safety valve, but it’s important MCW isn’t out for too long. Regardless of his offensive limitations, his size and defense are needed. Hopefully he recovers quickly.
Update: In an article, Rick Bonnell provided further details regarding the procedure Carter-Williams underwent:
Carter-Williams, who has previously missed games with left knee pain, had Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments on the patella tendons in both knees. Doctors extract blood from a patient, extract platelets from the whole blood, and inject the PRP back in a damaged area.
It's a fairly common procedure for athletes seeking pain relief. Former Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon had it several years ago. Golfer Tiger Woods, football’s Troy Palamalu and baseball’s Bartolo Colon have all undergone PRP treatment, which was invented in the 1990s.
Bonnell states that Clifford is hopeful for a quick recovery, but is unsure when he will be cleared to play again.