Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams’ right shoulder injury was initially so severe Sunday that he lost feeling in his arm and hand as he left the court.
That makes it all the more surprising that he has healed from the diagnosed strain to an extent that he was cleared to play and start Friday against the Denver Nuggets.
Williams was reaching to attempt a steal in the first half of Sunday’s home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. He doesn’t know exactly what happened to his arm on the play, but the effect was so severe that he ran to the Hornets’ bench in an obvious state of pain and fear.
“I told Kemba (Walker) I couldn’t move my arm. I’d never felt that before. And I couldn’t move my hand,” Williams said following Friday morning shootaround at Spectrum Center. “The trainers said I might have had a little nerve thing going on, which is why I had numbness and couldn’t feel my arm.
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“It was in pain. It was a rough first couple of days, but as I said, I’ve been getting a ton of treatment. The training staff has been great, really taking care of me. So I do feel a lot better, thankfully.”
The Hornets projected Monday that it would be at least a week before Williams would be reevaluated as to his ability to play. Thursday he was upgraded to questionable for the Nuggets game. Following a pre-game workout, he was cleared to play.
“I was telling the trainers that, when I initially did it, if you told me three or four days later I’d be feeling this much better I’d be pretty excited,” Williams said.
The first couple of days following the injury, he couldn’t lift his arm above his head. But most of the injury was to the back of his right shoulder, which he said hasn’t particularly hindered his shooting the past couple of days.
In Williams’ absence, the Hornets started Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at power forward in Wednesday’s road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kidd-Gilchrist played about 23 minutes -- not a lot more than he has averaged off the bench this season - finishing with nine points and five rebounds. Rookie Miles Bridges picked up minutes off the bench in Williams’ absence, and Frank Kaminsky - who has played mostly center this season - moved back to power forward.