Nic Batum is back in the Charlotte Hornets lineup after receiving one of the scares of his life.
Batum missed two games last week with a migraine headache, a malady so severe that he couldn’t get out of bed for four days.
“I was scared, worried,” Batum said Saturday after the Hornets guard scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his return, a 98-93 victory against the Washington Wizards at Spectrum Center. “I couldn’t think. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. It took me out of everything.”
The migraine came on March 12, the morning after the Hornets had played an overtime game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
“I couldn’t move,” Batum said.
Batum said he had suffered a concussion four years ago, but the pain from that injury was nothing compared to the migraine. Compounding his worries was the recommendation from Hornets trainer Steve Stricker that he have a brain scan.
I couldn’t think. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. It took me out of everything. Nic Batum
“I didn’t want to go,” said Batum. “I didn’t want bad news.”
Fortunately for Batum, the scan came back negative. But the pain persisted through the week, forcing him to miss games against the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers – both losses.
The pain began to ease Thursday. Batum practiced Friday and returned Saturday against the Wizards. He’ll go again Monday when the Hornets host the Atlanta Hawks.
In addition to his scoring and rebounding against the Wizards, Batum helped the Hornets break a three-game losing streak with his usual strong floor game. He delivered five assists and did little things like knock the ball away from the Wizards’ Ian Mahinmi during a crucial stretch in the second half.
Nic Batum missed two games with a migraine. He returned Saturday against the Washington Wizards.
“He’s such a great player because he helps in every phase of the game,” said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. “He could have had more (points Saturday) if he had shot better.”
It was the kind of performance that the Hornets get routinely from Batum, who signed with the team as a free agent before the 2015-16 season.
“That’s my job,” Batum said. “That’s why they keep me here and why they brought me here. I try to bring some movement, help us have a more fluid offense.”
5.9 Team-leading assists per game for Batum
Batum said he had been told the Hornets had problems with their offense in those losses against Chicago and Indiana last week.
“That’s what I heard, the movement wasn’t good in those games,” he said. “I heard that, because I couldn’t watch them. I couldn’t watch TV.”