Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Noah Vonleh (Indiana) puts on a cap as he is selected as the number nine overall pick to the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets: Noah Vonleh Out 6-8 Weeks

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The injury bug has once again bitten the Charlotte Hornets’ frontcourt, and now, it looks as though Hornets fans may have to wait longer than expected to see prized first round pick Noah Vonleh suit up.

According to the team, Vonleh suffered a sports hernia during practice last week, and underwent successful corrective surgery on Tuesday. The timetable for a return is between six and eight weeks, which, if correct, means that Vonleh will miss most of preseason.

This is a big hit for both the team and the rookie; the Hornets’ frontcourt rotation is thin, and power forward is a position in which they need whatever help they can get. Getting substantial playing time in preseason games could’ve gotten Vonleh into Steve Clifford’s lineup early.

Now, instead, Vonleh will have to spend the first couple of months of the regular season getting back into NBA shape, which will likely come with insubstantial minutes.

With that said, the former Indiana standout is a raw prospect, and even pre-injury, the chances of him being NBA-ready come November were slim to none.

Vonleh epitomizes a tweener, and it would’ve been very challenging for him to develop his game without knowing for sure what position he was playing. That question mark coupled with his horrendous summer league play didn’t project much immediate success for the 6-foot-10 forward, but then again, Charlotte’s high expectations for Vonleh are for the future.

At just 19 years old, he has a long career ahead of him. It’s the dawn of new era for Charlotte basketball, and in a few years, Vonleh will headline this young ball club.

That is, assuming he can stay healthy.

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