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Al Jefferson MRI shows no structural damage, but he’ll still miss time

Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 6: Mo Williams #7, Al Jefferson #25 and Cody Zeller #40 of the Charlotte Hornets in a game against the Toronto Raptors on March 6, 2015 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

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Al Jefferson heard a pop, injuring the area between the top of his calf and bottom of his knee.

That sounded worrisome, he got good news – at least for the circumstances.

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

The test came back as well as it could have under the circumstances: The MRI showed no structural damage after Jefferson hobbled out of Wednesday’s home loss to the Sacramento Kings.

While he will obviously miss some time before returning to the lineup, it doesn’t look like an extended period.

The Hornets will enter Friday’s home game against the Chicago Bulls without either of their starting big men – Jefferson and power forward Cody Zeller.

Zeller will miss a second straight game with a right shoulder sprain.

Clifford said the short-term plan will be to start Bismack Biyombo at center and Marvin Williams at power forward. Jason Maxiell will back up Biyombo at center.

The Hornets can get by without Jefferson. They can get by without Zeller. They might even get by without either.

But it’s hardly an ideal situation for a team a half game outside playoff position.

After playing the Bulls tonight, Charlotte goes on a five-game road trip – facing the Jazz, Clippers, Kings, Timberwolves and Bulls. This stretch will be crucial toward determining whether the Hornets return to the playoffs.