Midway through the third quarter of the Nets’ win over the Hornets on Wednesday, Thaddeus Young collided with Gerald Henderson, and did not return after going down with what appeared to be a knee injury.
An MRI revealed a left knee strain, and the team announced that Young would miss Friday’s home contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Brooklyn would have been hard-pressed to beat LeBron James and company even with Young in the lineup, but missing key rotation players at any point the rest of the way could bury the team’s slim hopes of sneaking into the postseason.
The Nets are part of a crowded group of four teams all vying for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, and currently trail by a half-game, with both the Pacers and the Celtics ahead of them in the standings.
Young has averaged 13.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18 appearances since coming to the Nets via trade in the middle of the season.