10:44am: Cunningham is feared to have a stress fracture in his left shin, according to James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania of The Athletic, who say the Pistons and Cunningham remain hopeful that the injury will get better with rest.
If the pain continues to linger, it’s possible surgery will be necessary, but Cunningham is trying to “turn over every stone” before deciding to take that route, per The Athletic’s duo.
Cunningham is currently considered to be out indefinitely, Edwards and Charania add.
9:59am: The Pistons and second-year guard Cade Cunningham have been trying to determine whether or not surgery will be required to address Cunningham’s injured left shin, according to veteran reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link).
Cunningham has missed Detroit’s last five games (all losses) due to what the team is referring to as “left shin soreness.” Based on Stein’s report, it sounds like it must be more than a simply a contusion if surgical treatment is under consideration.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Cunningham was averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in his first 12 games (33.3 MPG), though his shooting numbers (.415/.279/.837) were a little below last season’s marks.
Cunningham was considered one of this year’s top breakout candidates, and the Pistons signaled their intent to push for a play-in spot when they acquired forward Bojan Bogdanovic from Utah in September. However, the club is off to a 3-14 start and currently ranks dead last in the NBA standings. As Stein notes, if Cunningham has to go under the knife, he’d be out for an extended period, making it even more challenging for the Pistons to be competitive this season.
It’s unclear if there’s a timeline for the franchise and its 21-year-old centerpiece to come to a decision on how his injury will be treated. For now, he remains unavailable, with no set timeline for his return.