Charlotte Bobcats small forward Jeff Taylor will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon early in Friday’s road victory against the Detroit Pistons.
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said it’s too early to speculate how many months Taylor will miss beyond the season’s conclusion. Clifford said that probably can’t be determined until surgery further probes how serious the injury is.
But Clifford is confident Taylor will come out of this fine, based on his work effort.
“What I relayed to him is it’s unfortunate for him and really unfortunate for his teammates, because he’s a big part of this team,” Clifford said. “But his mindset has to be on his career now. And for his career, it shouldn’t be a problem. From what other guys (rehabbing from similar injuries) have done, if he has the same approach to his injury that he has to improving his game, then he should come back and be 100 percent.”
Taylor started the past eight games after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist broke his left hand in a road loss to the Dallas Mavericks Dec. 3. Kidd-Gilchrist will be in a cast at least until Dec. 27, when he’ll be re-evaluated. It seems unlikely he’d play before early January at the earliest.
That means the Bobcats’ remaining options at small forward are Anthony Tolliver and newcomer Chris Douglas-Roberts. Tolliver started Saturday’s home game against the Utah Jazz. The Bobcats can also shift shooting guard Gerald Henderson to small forward.
Clifford said he’s not concerned that those three can handle the position until Kidd-Gilchrist’s return.
“In Tolliver, he’s always ready to play, he’s solid and he’s a very good competitor. We execute well when he’s on the floor,” Clifford said. “In CDR, when he went in the game (Friday) night, he played well. His defense was excellent and offensively he played mistake-free. He’s an NBA player. He’s been around. You can throw him in there and execute when he’s on the floor.”
The Bobcats said Taylor will meet with Charlotte-based foot specialist Dr. Bob Anderson sometime in the coming days to determine the next steps in his treatment.
Rick Bonnell: (704) 358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell