Nicolas Batum suffered an avulsion fracture to his left middle finger in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia on Saturday. With 21.5 seconds remaining, he fouled Michael Carter-Williams on an inbound play, subsequently tangling his hand in MCW’s jersey. Originally thought to be a dislocation, Batum had his finger very painfully popped back in on the sideline before returning to the game and fouling out shortly thereafter.
According to Erik Gunderson of The Columbian Nicolas Batum will wear a protective splint on his finger for the next six weeks. He is not anticipated to miss any games due to the injury, though head coach Terry Stotts may decide to limit his minutes. By shuffling the lineup around, Stotts could theoretically find more time for rookie guard CJ McCollum, who has been activated for Tuesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
Silver lining aside, this comes as a blow to the Trail Blazers, whose offensive efficiency ranks highest in the NBA. Nicolas Batum practiced this afternoon, but struggled to dribble with his left hand. Playing the role of point-forward, Batum is a pivotal part of the offense that is sure to suffer along with him. This is the first injury that a starting Trail Blazer has sustained this season.