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Hornets lose rookie forward P.J. Washington to broken finger

Rick Bonnell, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Basketball

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Hornets lost a starter for Sunday and perhaps beyond, after the team announced Saturday that rookie forward P.J. Washington broke a finger.

Washington has a fracture on the fifth finger (pinkie) on his right hand. The Hornets announced Washington is out for Sunday's 5 p.m. road game against the Indiana Pacers. There was no additional information from the team on Washington's prognosis. Washington suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Friday's road victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Washington, the 12th pick in June's draft out of Kentucky, has started all 28 games of his rookie NBA season. The 6-foot-7 Washington has averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds at power forward. In addition to being a solid inside scorer, Washington has demonstrated surprising perimeter accuracy, making 41% from 3-point range and 48% from the field.

The Hornets are on a season-best three-game winning streak, improving to 12-16.

After a relatively healthy first six weeks of the season, the Hornets have seen injuries pile up lately. Marvin Williams and Nic Batum, the two most experienced players in the second unit, both missed the last two games. Williams is out again Sunday with a sore right knee. Batum is listed as questionable with a sore left hand; he suffered a broken middle finger on that hand in the season-opener against the Bulls.

 

Williams' injury eliminates the most obvious candidate to absorb Washington's minutes at power forward Sunday. Another option would be moving starter Miles Bridges from small forward to power forward. The Hornets have a variety of mid-sized options -- Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Dwayne Bacon and rookie Cody Martin -- who could pick up the 29 minutes Washington averages.

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