Byron Mullens is expected to miss several weeks with a sprained left ankle, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer. In Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, Mullens took a hard fall late in the second half. Mullens couldn’t put any weight on his left ankle and did not return to the game. MRI’s on his ankle were negative, and there is no fracture. Mullens could be out up to a month.
This means the Bobcats will be calling on the newly-acquired Hakim Warrick for production. It’s not known if Warrick will start, though he’s been getting minutes off the bench in the past couple of games. Brendan Haywood also figures to see an increase in minutes again, and Jeff Adrien could be in the mix too. Tyrus Thomas remains sidelined with a calf strain, and there’s no word yet on his return.
Mullens statistically wasn’t having a great seasno by any means. The former Ohio State Buckeye is averaging 11.6ppg, 7.8reb, while shooting 37% from the field with a 12.4 PER. However, Mullens is clearly the most offensively capable big man the Bobcats have in their struggling frontcourt. Coach Dunlap will be counting on some player to get some points and fill a little bit of that void.
There’s also an option to play more smallball, moving Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to power forward, depending on the matchup. We’ll see how Coach Dunlap approaches it tomorrow night against the Miami Heat, where there’s guaranteed to be at least one new starter.