The Pistons expect Jodie Meeks to miss the next 12 to 16 weeks as he recovers from a broken right foot, the team announced via press release. Meeks underwent surgery Thursday for what the team is calling a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal, an injury he suffered in Wednesday’s game. Detroit has a full 15-man roster, and no one on it has any non-guaranteed salary, so making a move to offset the loss of Meeks would present a challenge.
Meeks appeared for an 11-minute stint in Detroit’s opener and had played six minutes in the game in which he got hurt. A stress reaction in his lower back helped limit Meeks to only 60 games last season, his first with Detroit after he signed a three-year, $18.81MM deal in one of Stan Van Gundy‘s first moves as Pistons president of basketball operations in the summer of 2014. Meeks averaged 24.4 minutes per game last season and shot 34.9% from three-point range, both numbers that were markedly lower than the ones he posted in 2013/14 with the Lakers.
Former No. 8 pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the starter at shooting guard, where Meeks plays, and the Pistons have Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson who can play there, too, notes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Rookie swingman Darrun Hilliard will be active tonight, Ellis adds, but it’s unclear if he’s in the mix for minutes.
The Pistons are also without Brandon Jennings for the first several weeks of the season, but they’d have to endure two more significant injuries to qualify for a hardship provision of a 16th roster spot. The injuries to Meeks and Jennings aren’t expected to sideline either of them for the entire 2015/16 season, so Detroit couldn’t get a disabled player exception, either. The Pistons have their $2.814MM room exception available, but few, if any, remaining free agents would warrant that sort of money.