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Al Jefferson out two to three weeks with left calf strain

Team officials announced Monday that Al Jefferson will miss two to three weeks with a strained calf

Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson is expected to miss the next two to three weeks with a strained left calf, the team announced Monday.

Jefferson underwent an MRI that confirmed the team’s initial diagnosis of a strain, which he suffered in the first quarter of Sunday’s win against Milwaukee.

The 30-year-old has averaged 13.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game through 17 games this season. Jefferson, the third leading scorer on the team, has also tallied four double-doubles. 

Jefferson—on the final leg of a three-year, $40.5 million contract—has battled injures throughout his tenure in the Queen City.  He has played in 155 out of a possible 181 games for Charlotte. 

In his first season with Charlotte, Jefferson missed nine of the team’s first 12 games due to an ankle injury. He later suffered a plantar fasciitis injury during Game 1 of the team’s first-round playoff matchup against the Miami Heat; the injury forced Jefferson to miss Game 4. 

Jefferson missed nine games last season due to a strained adductor muscle in his left groin.

Hornets head coach Steve Clifford announced Wednesday that Cody Zeller will start Thursday against the Golden State Warriors. Zeller has averaged 6.8 points and five rebounds per game this season.