Dwane Casey may not be a doctor, but he agrees the Detroit Pistons may have lucked out with Killian Hayes’ hip injury.
The Pistons announced Wednesday that Hayes will rehab the labral tear in his right hip, which he suffered against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 4. Surgery was a potential option, but Casey confirmed after the Pistons overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks that Hayes won’t need surgery to make a full recovery. Hayes will be re-evaluated in eight weeks and could return with at least one month remaining in the season.
“He’s not going to have surgery, which is great,” Casey said. “The main thing I’m concerned about is making sure he stays connected mentally. For a young man coming into the NBA in your first year, you don’t want you disconnected from the team because of injury. It can be traumatic.”
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The challenge for Casey and the rest of the coaching staff will be keeping Hayes engaged with the team while he rehabs his injury. Hayes’ rookie season started rocky, as he averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 assists per game in 21.1 minutes per game while starting the first seven games of the season. Though he looked ahead of the curve on defense and showed flashes of his playmaking ability, he shot 27.7% overall and 25% (5-for-20) from 3.
Now, the 19-year-old faces an extended hiatus away from the floor. If he returns immediately after the eight-week rehab window, he’ll miss 11 consecutive weeks of play, with his absence overlapping with All-Star week, March 5-10. Casey has said the time away could be a positive, as it’ll give him time to watch film and learn from the sideline. Hayes only had a five-day training camp and four preseason games to prepare for his rookie season — a likely factor in his slow start.
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“We want to make sure we keep the village around him and make sure the medical people are doing a great job rehabbing, working with him,” Casey said. “We’re staying in contact with him constantly. That’s my major concern as well as him hurrying up and getting well. Making sure he stays connected to the team and every time he’s in town, we’re practicing, whatever, he’s very involved and on the sidelines paying attention and being connected in what we’re doing.”
Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey talks with guard Killian Hayes during a preseason game Dec. 11, 2020, against the New York Knicks at Little Caesars Arena.
His two-month timeline absence is the lesser of two evils for him and the Pistons. Had he needed surgery, he likely would’ve faced a six-to-seven month recovery, which would’ve not only cost him the rest of this season, but a significant portion of his offseason and potentially summer league as well.
In the meantime, Casey will likely stick with his point guard tandem of Delon Wright and Derrick Rose. Wright has been the starter since Hayes’ injury, and Rose is rounding into form after a slow start. In his past three games, Rose is averaging 19.3 points, three assists and 2.3 steals while shooting 55.3% overall, 40% from behind the arc and 85.7% at the foul line.
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It could also create additional opportunities for Detroit’s two-way players, Saben Lee and Frank Jackson. Both players have received playing time since Hayes’ injury.
Contact Omari Sankofa II at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: How Detroit Pistons will ‘keep the village’ around Killian Hayes
Published: 2021-01-21 14:55:17
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