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Charlotte Hornets swingman Nicolas Batum seems near returning barely forward of schedule from a torn elbow ligament.

Batum, who was slated to overlook six-to-eight weeks when the harm was identified early final month, scrimmaged with the Hornets on Sunday and Monday, and the plan is for him to play his first sport of the season Wednesday in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, based on Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

That is welcome information for the 5-7 Hornets, who’ve misplaced 4 straight video games and are in determined want of some secondary playmaking. They rank 20th within the NBA in offensive effectivity and 27th in help ratio, after rating 14th and eighth final season, respectively. When Kemba Walker sits, they’re scoring a comically paltry 84.7 factors per 100 possessions, and getting outscored by 24 factors per 100.

Batum’s plus capturing and plus-plus passing will probably be a serious boon. He averaged 15.1 factors and 5.9 assists final season, whereas rating third on the crew in utilization charge.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford expects Batum’s return to profit everybody else on the roster.

“He has such a really feel for the sport. He is straightforward to play with,” Clifford mentioned, based on Bonnell. “You must be taught the place they need the ball and what their strengths are. That is one in all his strengths: He performs for his teammates.”