Hornets’ Batum expected to miss at least 6 weeks

Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum reacts after he is injured in the first half against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. (Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports)

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 Thursday.

An MRI exam on Thursday revealed the tear.

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

Batum left the court in obvious pain and rushed to the locker room upon suffering the injury.

“He just got tangled up,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “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 Charlotte. He is entering the second season of a five-year, $120 million contract.

Sixth-year pro Jeremy Lamb and rookie Malik Monk are the candidates to start in Batum’s place. Lamb averaged a career-best 9.7 points last season while Monk was the 11th overall pick in the June draft out of Kentucky.