When Will Charlotte Bobcats See Al Jefferson Back in Starting Lineup?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Without question it has been a rocky start for veteran center Al Jefferson in a Charlotte Bobcats uniform. The Cats currently have a 3-3 record, and Jefferson has not been a part of any of those victories. Injury is the prime reason why his tenure in Charlotte has begun so poorly.

In the first preseason game for the Bobcats, Jefferson severely sprained his left ankle and as a result he missed the rest of the preseason. After missing a good amount of games he then returned to the lineup against the Houston Rockets on opening night.

Jefferson’s debut as a Bobcat was nothing better than average. He looked to be very rusty after 30 minutes of play, and that was probably due to sitting out so much time. In his first game with Charlotte he had 13 points and 8 rebounds on 31 percent shooting.

Five games since opening night and we haven’t seen or heard anything much about big Al. The Bobcats have been expecting big things from Jefferson ever since they gave him a massive contract this summer. The Cats inked Jefferson with a 3-year, $41 million dollar contract which basically is saying “we need this guy to be big”.

Jefferson has been nursing his sprained left ankle ever since opening night. Some Bobcats fans have started to get a little concerned, and they clearly have the right to be after the money their favorite team dealt to him this season. Since Al’s injury the Cats have a record of 3-2 and currently rank tenth in the NBA for points allowed.

Once he returns he will bolster the Cats scoring totals, but will he aid them defensively? The Bobcats are actually doing surprisingly well on the defensive end so far this season. We know Jefferson is a very solid scorer and rebounder, but he is notably poor on defense. Can he come back and surprise on defense? Or will we see him struggle on the defensive end once again?

But wait…when will he be back? Hasn’t it been a little weird seeing the same starting lineup that only won 21 games last year? Its no doubt that we all have been waiting to see Al return to the lineup stronger than ever. But how long is it until we see him back? That question is still not officially been answered but we can still assume.

Bismack Biyombo has been doing a solid job filling in the center position in Al Jefferson’s absence, scoring 4.5 points a game to go along with 8.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Jefferson status is still not clearly known, but it is being rumored that he will return from his injury sometime next week. We might see him get back in the starting lineup in the next 2-3 games as it has been highly rumored that a return is looming very near. Will we get to see him back soon or will his injury remain a huge concern? Many questions still remain.

 

Daniel Carney covers the Charlotte Bobcats for rantsports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_jcarney, subscribe to him on YouTube where he talks sports, and add him on Google+.

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