Kelly Oubre Discusses Hand Injury, Trade Rumors

Hornets forward Kelly Oubre, who is recovering from a procedure to repair a torn ligament in his left hand, said he would have liked to avoid surgery but ultimately decided to defer to the experts, as Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer writes.

“Dr. Carlson said that if I waited to have surgery, my finger and my ligaments would have folded up into my knuckle and I would have a sideways pinkie. And I didn’t really want that,” Oubre said. “So, it was one of those things. I had to talk to my family, talk to my coaches and the staff about. And I think the best deal was for me to get this right so I could perform at 100%.”

According to Boone, Oubre is still wearing a splint on his hand but will transition to a smaller brace next week and hopes to return to action as soon after the All-Star break as possible. He said it has been “terrible” having to watch from the sidelines so far in 2023.

“I’ve never really sat out during the season … for this amount of time,” Oubre noted. “It’s just tough, man, watching my guys put in the pain, go out there and compete, play and have fun and just win games.”

Of course, given that the 15-39 Hornets are expected to be sellers and Oubre is a veteran on an expiring contract, there’s no guarantee he’ll still be in Charlotte once he’s ready to play.

One report published almost a month ago suggested that the Suns, Cavaliers, and Raptors were among the teams with some interest in the 27-year-old before he suffered his hand injury, and a more recent report said the Hornets are engaged in trade talks involving him.

For his part, Oubre would rather stay put, stating this week that he’d love it if the Hornets opt to hang onto him.

“I hope they just keep my name out of it,” he said of the team’s trade talks, per Boone. “I’m looking for a home somewhere where I can just win, and grow, and continue to perfect my craft and also help this city, help this organization. I love everyone on this team and this staff, so I would love to stay here.

““I’m from New Orleans. The New Orleans Hornets used to be my favorite team and now I play for the Charlotte Hornets. And it couldn’t come more full circle than that. So, hopefully God has got in his plan for me to stay.”

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