The Charlotte Hornets apparently avoided another major injury to a starter with P.J. Washington listed as probable to play Tuesday versus the Los Angeles Lakers.
Center-forward Washington suffered a right-ankle sprain in Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks. He left the game midway through the third quarter and didn’t return. The Hornets didn’t practice Monday during a span of three games in four days.
The 6-foot-7 Washington has started all 48 games he’s played this season. He would be particularly difficult to replace because he splits his 29 minutes per game between center and power forward.
Washington generally started at power forward this season, then moved over to center, but that changed three games ago. That’s when coach James Borrego shifted to a small-ball unit with Washington starting at center and Miles Bridges and Jalen McDaniels starting at forward.
The Hornets are already dealing with significant injuries: Starters LaMelo Ball (wrist fracture), Gordon Hayward (foot sprain) and Malik Monk (ankle sprain) are all out. Those three are among the Hornets’ top offensive players.
Monk is expected to return the soonest, although that could be another week or two. Ball’s wrist would be re-evaluated late next week, based on the timeline announced when he had surgery March 23. Hayward’s foot sprain, suffered April 2, will be re-evaluated in early May.