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Gordon Hayward out four weeks with foot sprain

Gordon Hayward will miss four weeks with a sprained foot.

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward passes against the Phoenix Suns in the second half at Spectrum Center. The Phoenix Suns won 101-97 in overtime. Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets’ injury woes have continued to get worst. The Hornets announced Thursday that Gordon Hayward has suffered a sprained foot. He’s expected to miss four weeks with the injury, and his absence will likely have a major effect on Charlotte’s playoff chances. The Hornets rank fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 25-23 record.

Hayward is Charlotte’s second-leading scorer and averages 19.6 points per game. He also ranks third in rebounds (5.9) and assists (4.1) per game. Charlotte needs to generate offenses from new places while Hayward is out, and several wings could step forward.

Miles Bridges and Caleb Martin will likely split minutes at small forward while Hayward is recovering. Caleb Martin could also experience an uptick in playing time. LaMelo Ball is expected to miss the remainder of the 202-21 season with a wrist injury, so playmaking could be scarce from the Hornets moving forward. If Charlotte’s reserve swingmen can’t create for others, three-guard lineups could become more common.