In a season that has already been riddled with injury, the Detroit Pistons may have to deal with another one of their key scoring options being sidelined for the future.
On December 26th the Detroit Pistons made the announcement that Luke Kennard would be out for two weeks with bilateral knee tendinitis. He was reevaluated on January 7th during the Pistons most recent west coast road trip and after a few days of not hearing any updates, the tweet above was sent out last night prior to Detroit’s match up against New Orleans.
While nothing has been made official, the reality that Kennard may not return for another month is certainly a devastating blow to a season that has more or less already gone off the rails. Considering Dwane Casey only hinted at it, it’s definitely within the realm of possibility that Kennard’s rehabilitation goes smoothly and he’s able to make an earlier than expected return.
Emerging as one of the Pistons top scoring options this season, Kennard is averaging 15.8 points per game along with 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds on 44.2 percent shooting including 40.0 percent from three-point range.
He’s done a tremendous job growing as a play maker this season.
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Until he makes his return, the Pistons will continue to rely on players like Svi Mykhailiuk, Langston Galloway, and even Sekou Doumbouya to hold down the perimeter, which isn’t necessarily ideal. Detroit has taken a noticeable dive in their three-point shooting in Kennard’s absence, and it’s resulted in their season becoming one of their worst in the past decade.
Knee injuries can be a tricky thing to navigate for a medical staff. You don’t want to rush a player back too soon and risk re-injury, so at the end of the day it’s not necessarily a bad thing that he’s going to remain out for the foreseeable future. With both Blake Griffin (this season especially) and Derrick Rose having suffered from knee injuries in their career, one would assume that Detroit’s medical staff is well equipped to deal with this sort of issue.
When Kennard makes his return the Pistons will look to amend some of the damage that has been dealt so far this season. Until then, it’s going to continue to be a tough road for Detroit.