NBA: Charlotte Hornets stung by Nicolas Batum injury, Norman Powell signs new US$42m Toronto Raptors deal

There are fears that Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Nicolas Batum could end up being sidelined for as long as 12 weeks due to the injury. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NICOLAS BATUM

(THE SPORTS XCHANGE) - Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Nicolas Batum will miss a minimum of six to eight weeks after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the club announced on Thursday (Oct 5).

An MRI exam on Thursday revealed the tear.

There are fears that Batum could end up being sidelined for as long as 12 weeks due to the injury that occurred 34 seconds after the start of Wednesday's pre-season game against the Detroit Pistons.

"He just got tangled up," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "It was one of those kind of contact, collision plays where his arm got stuck between two guys. He was in a lot of pain."

Batum averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists last season in his second campaign with the Hornets.

He is entering the second season of a five-year, US$120 million (S$164 million) contract.

Sixth-year pro Jeremy Lamb and rookie Malik Monk will be the leading candidates to start in Batum's place.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert is expected to be sidelined for seven to 10 days with a sprained left foot, the team announced.

Shumpert sustained the injury while landing awkwardly after a missed dunk attempt during a pre-season game on Wednesday.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is hopeful Shumpert will return before his team concludes the pre-season on Oct 13.

The news on Shumpert was announced on the same day in which star forward LeBron James (ankle) returned to practice.

James participated through an entire practice on Thursday as he continues to make progress from a left ankle injury which he suffered last week.

Coach Tyronn Lue said it is possible James could even see playing time during Friday's pre-season game against the Indiana Pacers.

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell agreed to a four-year, $42 million contract with the club, according to published reports.

Powell, entering his third season, was due to become a restricted free agent in July.

He holds a player option on the final season of his extension.

Powell averaged 8.4 points in 76 games (18 starts) last season.

He raised his level of play in the post-season when he averaged 11.7 points and shot 44.1 per cent from 3-point range.

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