Miles Bridges

Mitch Kupchak Signs Multiyear Extension With Hornets

President of basketball operations and general manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters that he has signed a multiyear extension with the Hornets, as Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer relays (via Twitter). It was previously reported that Kupchak was in the final year of his contract.

For better or for worse, I will be here for the next couple of years,” Kupchak said Thursday, according to Steve Reed of The Associated Press. The executive declined to say when the contract will expire.

Kupchak has been with Charlotte since April of 2018. He was previously the long-time GM of the Lakers, having worked for the team for three decades after he retired as a player. Kupchak has won a total of 10 NBA Championships in his lengthy career, three as a player and seven as an executive.

Kupchak has acquired an impressive array of talented players since he became the head of the Hornets’ basketball operations, including Miles Bridges, Devonte’ Graham (now on the Pelicans), Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, Cody Martin, Kelly Oubre, and All-Star LaMelo Ball, among others. However, the team has missed out on the playoffs in his four years at the helm, having been eliminated in the play-in tournament the past two seasons, which led to former head coach James Borrego being fired.

When asked about the contract status of Bridges, who’ll be a restricted free agent this summer, Kupchak said the team plans to re-sign him.

Our intention is to keep Miles long-term, yes. He’s a big part of our future,” he said, per Boone (Twitter link).

Kupchak, who turns 68 next week, also said Charlotte has interviewed eight candidates for the team’s head coaching vacancy thus far (which aligns with our tracker), and he’s “hopeful of having someone in place within two weeks.” He added that he’s hoping to find a coach to take the team “to that next level” (Twitter link via Boone).

Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson have reportedly received second interviews for the position, and former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is considered a serious candidate as well.

Hornets Notes: Hayward, Bridges, Coaching Search, Harrell, Washington

Hornets forward Gordon Hayward is a name to watch in the trade market, though injuries limit his value, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, who conducted a podcast with Charlotte Observer beat reporter Rod Boone.

Hayward is regarded as a “neutral asset” that the Hornets can move. However, it’s unlikely they’ll benefit much in terms of cap space if they deal the veteran, who has two years and $61.5MM remaining on his contract. One executive told Scotto they might be able to move him for two players making around $10-15MM apiece.

The Pacers are an unlikely destination after trading away Domantas Sabonis and building around younger pieces.

More highlights from the podcast:

  • Both Scotto and Boone anticipate Miles Bridges will get $25MM or more annually in restricted free agency. Scotto sees Bridges as being coveted due to his status as a young, two-way, big wing. The Trail Blazers could pursue him if they can’t trade for Jerami Grant and teams with cap space, like the Pistons, could also be a factor. Boone believes he’ll return to the Hornets due to unfinished business with an improving team. The fact that he’s close with LaMelo Ball also works in Charlotte’s favor.
  • Neither Scotto nor Boone believe Mike D’Antoni is a viable option in the search for a head coach. Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney are names to watch there. However, D’Antoni could wind up in Philadelphia if the Sixers let Doc Rivers go, according to Scotto.
  • Free agent Montrezl Harrell generally enjoyed playing with Charlotte this season and could return to the Hornets, depending upon the coaching hire. Harrell probably wouldn’t command more than the taxpayer mid-level on the open market, according to Scotto.
  • P.J. Washington, who is extension-eligible, is a movable piece and his name will pop up in trade rumors.

Central Notes: Caruso, COVID-19, Bridges, Joseph, McGruder

Guard Alex Caruso played 33 minutes in the Bulls’ Game 1 loss to the Bucks on Sunday. Coach Billy Donovan said Caruso has been dealing with back pain for several weeks and is trying to tough it out, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. He was limited to seven points and missed all but one of his five 3-point attempts.

‘‘He’s felt the best I think he has felt,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘Is he 100%? No, but he’s a lot better than he was those games before he sat out. I do think with Alex [that minutes restrictions are] going to be somewhat important. I think if you start pushing him with his back up into the high 30s, I don’t think that would be really, really wise. You want to see how he’s feeling in the game. He kind of throws his body in there and plays incredibly hard and physical, so we’ll have to see how he responds.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks are wary of how a positive COVID-19 test could affect their playoff run, coach Mike Budenholzer told Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He noted how Paul George missed the Clippers’ second play-in game after testing positive. “There’s been a lot of positive movement. You just don’t want to forget, you’ve just got to know it’s still out there,” Budenholzer said. “When we had the conversation what happened with the Clippers and Paul George had happened and the coaching staff with Chicago. I’m guessing those things pop up in conversations in the locker room or at baskets and things like that. It’s not good, but in the sense of it just being a reminder in conversation, I think it’s helpful. Certainly our guys are aware.”
  • The Pistons could have the most cap space in the league this summer but a giant offer sheet for Hornets restricted free agent Miles Bridges wouldn’t be a wise move, James Edwards III of The Athletic opines. Bridges’ best position is probably at power forward and putting him in that spot wouldn’t be a long-term upgrade over Saddiq Bey, who can play either forward spot.  If Detroit winds up with a top-three pick, the team will likely draft a power forward, which would force Bridges to play small forward with Bey moving out of position to shooting guard. The only way adding Bridges would make sense would be to trade Jerami Grant for a wing or to draft one with their lottery pick, Edwards writes.
  • Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press predicts that Grant, Cory Joseph and Rodney McGruder won’t return next season but that the Pistons will re-sign restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Young, Bridges, Wizards

After being swept in the first round last season, the Heat added three players in free agency who have won championships, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. P.J. Tucker, who was part of the Bucks’ title team last season, Markieff Morris, who got a ring with the Lakers in 2020, and Kyle Lowry, who won with the Raptors in 2019, all brought plenty of playoff experience to Miami.

They joined a roster that includes Udonis Haslem, who has won three titles, and five other holdovers from the Heat team that reached the Finals in 2020. The experience and mental toughness needed to get to that level helped Miami emerge from a crowded field to grab the No. 1 seed in the East.

“It’s a high that you’re chasing,” Lowry said. “You want to get back to that high and you want to stay at that high. When you win one, you want that high right away. You want that high, it’s a high you can’t match. I’m just being honest. It’s still there, that fire is burning. I’m just chasing that high right now.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat’s biggest challenge in the first round will be finding a way to control Hawks star Trae Young, Chiang adds. Miami typically uses a variety of defenders against Young and mixes up its coverages to make him less comfortable. “He’s one of the most dynamic point guards we have in our league now,” Lowry said. “You just have to know that he’s going to do some spectacular things. But we do have to wear on him, make things a little bit tougher, however that is.”
  • Miles Bridges wants to remain with the Hornets, but the team faces a lot of questions this summer about how to build its roster, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. There should be significant demand for Bridges, who will be a restricted free agent once Charlotte extends a $7.9MM qualifying offer, and the organization has to decide how many of its young players it wants to make a long-term investment in. “Charlotte has really taken me in and brought me in,” Bridges said. “I got drafted as a 20-year-old kid. And for me to grow up here and for everybody to embrace me like they have, that’s something I’ll never forget. Especially going into the contract season.”
  • Injuries were a year-long concern for the Wizards, but coach Wes Unseld Jr. believes the team has a solid foundation in place, per Bijan Todd of NBC Sports Washington. “Obviously the health factor is something that we can’t necessarily control, but if we come back healthy…I think we’re setting ourselves up for a pretty bright future,” Unseld Jr. said.

Hornets Notes: Bridges, Thomas, Hayward, Offseason

Hornets forward Miles Bridges said this week that he’s grateful to the city of Charlotte and loves being a part of the team, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Bridges will be a restricted free agent this summer when the team tenders him a $7.92MM qualifying offer, which is a foregone conclusion after his breakout fourth season.

My mom loves it here, my kids love it here,” Bridges said Thursday. “Charlotte has really taken me in and brought me in. I got drafted as a 20-year-old kid. And for me to grow up here and for everybody to embrace me like they have, that’s something I’ll never forget. Especially going into the contract season. Charlotte took me in as a 20-year-old kid, and now I’m a 24-year-old man, and I love it here.”

The Hornets and Bridges had a disappointing end to their season, as the 24-year-old was ejected from Wednesday’s blowout play-in tournament loss to Atlanta and then received a $50K fine for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands and hitting a teenage fan (he later apologized). He finished with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists after averaging 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 80 games this season.

Bridges sees himself as part of the team’s core alongside LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, and hopes to stick with them long-term, per Boone.

I would love to play with Melo and Terry for the rest of my career,” Bridges said. “Those are my guys, my brothers. All of us damn near averaged 20 (points) this year, so just to have that type of relationship with such dynamic players and bring it to the basketball court every night, you don’t see that too much in the NBA. And we have that relationship and that’s what it is. It will always be like that. So I’m just happy to be a part of them.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • Backup point guard Isaiah Thomas, an unrestricted free agent this summer who served as a mentor to Ball, would also like to stick with Charlotte. “Man, I want to be here,” Thomas said, according to Boone. “I see something special in this group. I see a place where I can really help. But I would love to be here. This team gave me a chance when really nobody was giving me one. They allowed me to come in and be who I am. They embraced that on and off the floor.”
  • Gordon Hayward is suffering from a bone chip in his left foot, which is why he missed the team’s play-in game, Boone tweets. Hayward initially sprained ligaments in his left ankle back in February, which caused him to miss 22 games, but after just one game back he started experiencing pain and was diagnosed with the foot injury, as Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer relays.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic explores the team’s offseason and future, noting that a starting-caliber center and improving the defense are areas that need to be addressed, but doing so could be easier said than done.

Potential 2022 RFAs Whose Qualifying Offers Will Be Impacted By Starter Criteria

The NBA’s rookie scale, which determines how much first-round picks earn during their first four NBA seasons, also dictates how much the qualifying offers will be worth for those players when they reach restricted free agency after year four. However, the value of those qualifying offers can fluctuate depending on whether or not a player has met the “starter criteria.”

Here’s how the starter criteria works in a typical year:

  • A player who is eligible for restricted free agency is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency.
  • A player can also meet the criteria if he averages either of those marks in the two seasons prior to his restricted free agency. For instance, if a player started 50 games one year and 32 the next, he’d meet the starter criteria, since his average number of starts over the last two seasons is 41.

The thresholds for the starter criteria this year are a little different due to the truncated nature of the 2020/21 season. We outlined those tweaks at the start of the season.

A player’s ability or inability to meet the starter criteria can affect the value of the qualifying offer he receives as a restricted free agent, as follows:

  • A top-14 pick who does not meet the starter criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 15th overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A player picked between 10th and 30th who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the ninth overall pick would receive if he signed for 120% of the rookie scale.
  • A second-round pick or undrafted player who meets the criteria will receive a qualifying offer equal to the amount the 21st overall pick would receive if he signed for 100% of the rookie scale.
  • For all other RFAs, the standard criteria determine the amounts of their qualifying offers.

Extending a qualifying offer to a player eligible for restricted free agency officially makes that player an RFA, ensuring that his team has the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another club. It also gives the player the option of signing that one-year QO.

Generally, the value of a restricted free agent’s qualifying offer isn’t hugely important, since very few RFAs accept those offers outright. There are exceptions though.

Last offseason, for instance, Bruce Brown met the starter criteria heading into restricted free agency, increasing the value of his qualifying offer to $4,736,102. The Nets decided to issue that qualifying offer and he accepted it. Had he fallen short of the starter criteria, Brown only would have been eligible for a qualifying offer worth around $2MM and his free agency could have played out very differently.


Top-14 picks who failed to meet starter criteria:

With all that in mind, let’s check in on how this year’s RFAs-to-be will be impacted by the starter criteria. Listed below are the former top-14 picks on track for restricted free agency who did not meet the starter criteria. These players will be eligible for qualifying offers worth $7,228,448.

Seven of the 14 players selected with lottery picks in the 2018 draft signed rookie scale extensions in 2021, meaning they won’t have to worry about the value of their qualifying offers this offseason.

Of the other seven, the three players listed above failed to meet the criteria. Bagley is the biggest loser in the trio — his qualifying offer would’ve been worth approximately $14.76MM if he had met the starter criteria. Sexton’s would’ve been about $8.56MM, while Knox’s would’ve been $7.92MM.

Even with the amount of his qualifying offer lowered a little, Knox likely won’t receive a QO at all, making him an unrestricted free agent. Bagley and Sexton are much safer bets for QOs.

Top-14 picks Deandre Ayton (Suns) and Mohamed Bamba (Magic), each met the starter criteria, locking in their QO amounts at $16.42MM and $10.1MM, respectively. Miles Bridges (Hornets) also met the starter criteria, as detailed in the next section.

Jerome Robinson was the only top-14 pick from ’18 who was waived before completing his rookie contract — he’s no longer on an NBA roster and won’t be eligible for a qualifying offer this summer.


First-round picks between 10-30 who met starter criteria:

A player who fell into this category would see the amount of his qualifying offer increase to $7,921,300. Bridges, the No. 12 overall pick, was the only player to qualify.

As a result of meeting the starter criteria, Bridges’ qualifying offer will increase from about $7.46MM to $7.92MM, a modest bump. It shouldn’t change the outlook of his free agency, since he’ll almost certainly receive a lucrative long-term offer.

Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons looked like one of the best candidates to join Bridges in this group. He needed to make 41 starts this season for Portland, but only got to 30 before he was shut down for the season with a left knee injury. His qualifying offer will remain at $5.76MM, but that shouldn’t have a major impact on his free agency, since he’ll likely work out a multiyear deal with the Blazers.

Meanwhile, because Kings wing Donte DiVincenzo was a full-time starter for the Bucks in 2020/21, he only needed to make seven starts this season to meet the starter criteria. However, he ultimately started just once for Milwaukee and Sacramento, even when he was playing heavy minutes down the stretch for the Kings.

DiVincenzo’s qualifying offer will remain at $6.6MM, which actually could have a tangible effect on his free agency — if he doesn’t get a multiyear offer with a starting salary much higher than his qualifying offer, accepting the QO and reaching unrestricted free agency in 2023 may be DiVincenzo’s best option. Presumably, that’s why his camp reportedly wasn’t thrilled that he was still coming off the bench at the end of the season.


Second-round picks and UDFAs who met starter criteria:

The players listed below signed as second-round picks or undrafted free agents, but met the starter criteria and are now eligible for a qualifying offer worth $4,869,012.

Of course, it’s very possible neither Dort nor Tate will even become a free agent this summer, since their contracts both include team options for 2022/23.

The Thunder could decide to turn down Dort’s minimum-salary option for next season in order to make him a restricted free agent this year instead of an unrestricted free agent next year, but there’s no guarantee they’ll go that route. If they do, his QO would be worth $4.87MM instead of $2.22MM.

Meanwhile, there’s no incentive for the Rockets to decline Tate’s option, since he’ll still be eligible for restricted free agency in 2023, so the amount of his potential qualifying offer this summer will be rendered moot.

Among other second-round picks and undrafted free agents, Hornets wing Cody Martin (1,866 minutes), Clippers swingman Amir Coffey (30 starts), and Trail Blazers forward CJ Elleby (28 starts) are a few who were in the ballpark of the starter criteria, but none got there. Martin, Coffey, Elleby, and the rest of this year’s restricted free agents won’t have their projected qualifying offers impacted by the starter criteria.

Miles Bridges Fined $50K For Tossing Mouthpiece

Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been fined $50K by the league for throwing his mouthpiece into the spectator stands, which resulted in the mouthpiece striking a teenage fan, the NBA announced today (via Twitter).

The incident occurred after Bridges received two technical fouls and was ejected during the fourth quarter of Charlotte’s 132-103 play-in tournament loss to the Hawks on Wednesday. Bridges was irritated by a heckler as he headed toward the locker room and responded by whipping his mouthpiece into the stands, which missed the heckler and instead hit a 16-year-old girl.

He expressed regret afterward and hopes to make amends with the fan he struck.

“I was upset about a call, a couple of calls really. I let my temper get the best of me. That was definitely the wrong thing to do,” Bridges said. ” … I was aiming for the guy that was screaming at me and it hit a little girl … I take full responsibility and will take any consequences the NBA gives me. … Hopefully, I can get in contact with the young lady, sincerely apologize and do something nice for her.”

Hornets Notes: Play-In Loss, Bridges, Washington, Borrego

The Hornets were exposed by the Hawks in Wednesday’s play-in game that ended their season, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

As Boone outlines, the Hornets’ Achilles heel all year long was their defense and it was the weak link again on Wednesday in a 132-103 loss. Penetration into the paint was an ongoing issue, according to Boone, who suggests the Hornets lack any sort of intimidating interior presence and could badly use an athletic, shot-blocking center.

As Zach Kram of The Ringer observes, it was the second consecutive year in which the Hornets allowed more than 128 points per 100 possessions in an elimination play-in game, so addressing the defense has to be the team’s top priority this offseason. Besides acquiring a defensive-minded center, Charlotte could also benefit from adding a reliable wing who can capably guard opposing teams’ most dangerous perimeter players, Kram notes.

Here’s more on the Hornets as they prepare for their offseason:

  • Ejected in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss, Miles Bridges threw his mouthpiece at a fan who was taunting him on his way to the locker room, but missed and hit another fan, a 16-year-old girl (video link). Bridges, who figures to face at least a fine from the NBA, apologized after the game for the incident, per Scott Fowler and Matthew Stephens of The Charlotte Observer. “I was upset about a call, a couple of calls really. I let my temper get the best of me. That was definitely the wrong thing to do,” Bridges said. ” … I was aiming for the guy that was screaming at me and it hit a little girl … I take full responsibility and will take any consequences the NBA gives me. … Hopefully, I can get in contact with the young lady, sincerely apologize and do something nice for her.”
  • Viewed as a potential trade candidate in February, P.J. Washington entered the Hornets’ starting lineup after the deadline and played a key role in the club’s success down the stretch, Boone writes for The Charlotte Observer. Washington will be eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason, so Charlotte will have to decide soon how he fits into the organization’s long-term plans.
  • In his preview of the Hornets’ offseason, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) explores how the team should approach the summer, taking an in-depth look at Bridges’ restricted free agency and Washington’s case for an extension. Besides needing a starting center, the Hornets could also use a backup point guard and need James Bouknight to develop into a rotation player, Marks writes.
  • After extending him last offseason, the Hornets seem likely to retain head coach James Borrego for 2022/23, but after the way the season ended, his seat should be considered warm – if not hot – going forward, Fowler writes in a column for The Charlotte Observer.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along a series of Hornets-related rumors on Wednesday.

Hornets Rumors: Kupchak, Hayward, Bridges, Borrego

People around the NBA have speculated for years about the possibility of Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak leaving the organization or transitioning into more of an advisory role, but those whispers have intensified this year, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. As Fischer explains, Kupchak’s current contract with Charlotte is believed to expire at the end of this season.

It’s unclear at this point what Kupchak’s future holds, but Fischer says two names have frequently been cited as potential candidates for the top job in the Hornets’ front office if a change occurs. One is current assistant general manager Buzz Peterson, who was roommates with team owner Michael Jordan at UNC. The other is Bulls GM Marc Eversley, who interviewed for the job in 2018 before the Hornets hired Kupchak.

Here’s more on the Hornets:

  • “Word has circulated” among rival front offices that Hornets forward Gordon Hayward may be interested in a change of scenery this offseason, Fischer reports. However, a source close to Hayward told Bleacher Report that the veteran is primarily focused on recovering from the foot injury that appears likely to end his season.
  • Some league executives think that Hayward could be involved in a trade for Russell Westbrook, allowing the Hornets to increase their 2023 cap flexibility, according to Fischer. However, it would be a challenge for the Hornets and Lakers to work out a deal that appeals to both sides and includes both of those highly-paid former All-Stars. Using Hayward to try to acquire a center is another option Charlotte could explore, Fischer adds.
  • It’s unclear whether the Pacers will seriously consider Myles Turner – long considered a top trade target for the Hornets – this offseason, but league personnel expect Charlotte to be in the market for a rim protector like Turner. “They don’t defend,” one team scout said to Fischer. “You gotta find a defensive identity.”
  • Fischer’s sources believe the Hornets would match any offer sheet for RFA-to-be Miles Bridges. With that in mind, it remains to be seen if teams will be dissuaded from going after Bridges or if there could be a club willing to submit a maximum-salary offer to force Charlotte to match it. A four-year max deal for Bridges from a rival suitor projects to be worth about $128MM.
  • Even if the Hornets don’t make the playoffs via the play-in tournament, Fischer’s sources inside and outside of the franchise believe head coach James Borrego is a good bet to stick around. “It would make no sense to fire him,” an assistant general manager told Bleacher Report. “I know the NBA is a results-oriented business, but if you believe in him to be your coach, if you believe in him growing alongside LaMelo (Ball) and Bridges, you’ve taken a step forward each of the last two seasons, you just extended him. Why would not making the playoffs with a young roster suddenly change that?”

Southeast Notes: F. Wagner, Hornets, Bridges, Collins

Franz Wagner has had a stellar first season for the Magic, and Josh Cohen of the team’s website makes the case that Wagner deserves Rookie of the Year consideration. Wagner holds the season-high scoring mark in an individual game for rookies with 38, along with several other benchmarks.

Through 77 games this season, the 6’9″ forward is averaging 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists on .468/.357/.863 shooting in 31.5 minutes per night. If he stays above 46% from the field (which is a basically a lock) and is able to convert four more three-pointers, Wagner will join Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum as the third rookie ever to score at least 1,000 points and make 100 threes while shooting 46-plus percent from the floor, per Cohen.

One of the 20-year-old’s notable statistics has been his durability, as he’s one of just six players to appear in every game this season (Kevon Looney, Deni Avdija, Mikal Bridges, Dwight Powell and Saddiq Bey are the others). Unfortunately, he rolled his left ankle in Friday’s game against Toronto (video link via Kobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel) and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, the Magic’s PR department announced (via Twitter). Hopefully he’ll be able to finish out the season strong and accomplish the feat.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • The Hornets have clinched a spot in the play-in tournament, but they have their sights set on loftier goals, as Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer relays. “We can’t be content — we haven’t done s—,” Kelly Oubre said. “So we’ve got to continue to work, stay humble and continue to grind and create our own narrative for the future and establish ourselves in an area for sure that is in the winning light. So we’ve got to continue to stay hungry and stay humble.”
  • Within the same article, Boone notes that Miles Bridges apparently still holds some resentment that the Knicks didn’t select him in the 2018 draft. The Knicks selected Kevin Knox at No. 9, while Bridges fell to the Hornets at No. 12. “There’s a lot of history between me and the Knicks’ organization, going back to draft day,” Bridges said. “So every time I come in, I want to make a point of why they should have drafted me back then. I just try to be aggressive every time I come here and show them what I can do and it’s been working out.” Bridges has scored 30-plus points in each of his last three appearances in New York, including 31 on 11-of-15 shooting in the team’s 125-114 victory Wednesday. He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer.
  • John Collins still hasn’t returned to basketball activity for the Hawks, Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Collins is progressing in his rehab from a mid-foot sprain and plantar fascia tear, as well as a sprained finger, and his return to action will depend on his follow-up appointments with medical specialists.