Malika Andrews: Rookie big man Wendell Carter Jr. may n…

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A follow-up MRI exam Wednesday led Carter and the Bulls to believe the ligament was largely intact, and he was listed as day to day. Carter even tested his thumb at Thursday’s morning shootaround in Denver and vowed to play Saturday against the Heat at the United Center. But the follow-up exam Friday showed ligament damage that the first imaging didn’t detect. ... Carter is still considering his options, and it’s not certain he’ll need surgery or how long he’ll be sidelined.
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April 18, 2021 | 8:02 pm EDT Update
Late in each Charlotte Hornets season, coach James Borrego opens up the rotation to see what a second-round rookie has got. Three seasons ago, it was Devonte Graham. Last March, it was Jalen McDaniels. Friday, it was emphatically Vernon Carey Jr. “Based on what I saw tonight, I’ve got to look very hard at Vernon” the rest of the season, Borrego said, after Carey’s NBA debut as a starter.
Carey was stunningly good with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, plus six rebounds. The Hornets selected former the former Duke center early in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft, and prior to Friday he had amassed all of 33 minutes. He played 35 minutes in the 130-115 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, and totally looked like he belonged. Carey learned Friday morning that he was starting, even though the decision had been made the night before. Borrego didn’t want Carey fretting all night instead of sleeping.
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