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Report: Hornets’ Nicolas Batum won’t need surgery

New Orleans Pelicans v Charlotte Hornets

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 11: Nicolas Batum #5 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts during their game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Spectrum Center on March 11, 2017 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 conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Nicolas Batum tore a ligament in his elbow, the type of injury that could throw the Hornets’ playoff hopes into peril a year after injuries helped keep them out of the postseason.

The initial report said he’d miss 8-12 weeks. Charlotte said he’d miss at least 6-8 weeks.

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

Charlotte Hornets guard Nic Batum got encouraging news from a Dallas specialist, indicating surgery isn’t necessary to heal from the torn ligament in his left elbow, a source said.

That increases hope Batum will return on the near side of projections.

He’s a capable starter and important to the Hornets as a lead playmaker on their second units. Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb can probably collectively pick up the slack among the starters. But when Walker sits, who facilitates the offense? Michael Carter-Williams, who’s battling his own injury issues? Malik Monk, a rookie?

Charlotte will miss Batum – but maybe for not as long as feared.