Nic Batum re-injured hand in loss to Phoenix Suns

Mitchell Northam

CHARLOTTE -- The Charlotte Hornets fell 109-104 to the Phoenix Suns on Monday at the Spectrum Center. It dropped James Borrego's side to 8-14 on the season, and — to make matters worse — veteran forward Nic Batum was injured.

In the second quarter, Batum re-aggravated an injury that he previously suffered on his left hand. The Frenchman caught his left middle finger on Ricky Rubio's jersey after hitting a turnaround jumper over him.

Batum went to the locker room and did not return to the game.

After the contest, Batum told Steve Reed of the Associated Press that he "did the same thing to the same finger" and he felt it "crack." However, the Hornets said that Batum "hyper-extended" the finger and an x-ray didn't show any evidence of a break.

Borrego did not say Monday night if Batum would miss any time.

Batum, 30, broke that finger in the Hornets' season-opener this year, a win over the Chicago Bulls. He missed 11 games before finally returning on Nov. 16 in a win over the Knicks. Batum has not started this season, but over 10 games is averaging 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 22.4 minutes per-game.

On Monday, Batum tallied four points, two rebounds and a steal in 11 minutes of play.

Batum is the Hornets' highest-paid player and will earn a salary of about $25.6 million this season.

If Batum misses any significant amount of playing time, the Hornets could recall Cody or Caleb Martin from the G-League's Greensboro Swarm to fill in.

The Hornets have two more home games this week, taking on the Warriors on Wednesday and facing the Nets on Friday.

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