Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller had successful surgery on his fractured right hand in New York City Thursday, and projected recovery time is 4-to-6 weeks, the team announced.
Zeller had the surgery at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery. A six-week recovery time would have Zeller out through approximately the NBA’s All-Star break in mid-February.
Zeller suffered a broken hand in Monday’s home victory over the Orlando Magic. Prior to that injury he had started 35 of the Hornets’ first 36 games this season, missing a home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans Dec. 2 due to sore ribs.
Hornets coach James Borrego started Willy Hernangomez in Zeller’s place against the Pelicans, and again in Wednesday’s home loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Borrego has indicated he intends to use several options at center while Zeller is out. The Hornets have two other centers, Bismack Biyombo and Frank Kaminsky, and have used power forward Marvin Williams often this season as a small-ball center..
The Hornets are scheduled to fly to Denver Friday for the first of six consecutive road games, all against Western Conference opponents.