Pistons: Killian Hayes won't need surgery, will be re-evaluated after 8 weeks
For a while, it seemed that no news was good news on the extent of the injury for Pistons rookie Killian Hayes.
The news isn’t as bad as it could have been.
Hayes, who suffered a torn labrum in his right hip on Jan. 4, will not need to have surgery and he will be re-evaluated after eight weeks of rest and rehab, the team announced Wednesday.
The injury was evaluated by Dr. Bill Motzouros, the Pistons’ head physician, who consulted with two specialists, Dr. Bryan Kelly in New York and Dr. James Roseneck in Cleveland. Together, they determined that the injury was a subluxation and didn’t require surgery, which would have ended Hayes’ season.
With the eight-week timeline, Hayes could return during the second half of the season and play at least a few games before the season.
The Pistons selected Hayes with the No. 7 pick and he played in just seven games before sustaining the non-contact injury on a play, trying to get back on defense against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Hayes, 19, who had started all seven games, was averaging 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds.
New offensive options
Jerami Grant is the Pistons’ leading scorer and has been huge in getting them a big-time go-to option on the offensive end. Early in games, though, it seems that the Pistons’ plan is to get other players going first and then lean on Grant once they’re in a good rhythm.
With Wayne Ellington and Delon Wright joining the starting lineup, it’s been a different feel since Hayes’ injury. Against the Heat on Monday, Ellington got a hot hand and hit a couple of 3-pointers, which was a big benefit for building an offensive chemistry in the starting group.
Coach Dwane Casey said there’s no concrete plan to do that — as some football coaches do in scripting the first 10 or 15 plays to ensure they get the right looks and can gauge how the defense will guard some plays.
“Jerami is going to get his. We run a lot of things for him,” Casey said before Wednesday’s game. “Jerami is going to get his — and even more so when he goes to the (power forward) position. It's not scripted, but it's a plan. I wouldn't say it's what we're going to do in these first five plays, but we try to go to certain guys at certain times.”
Ellington stays in starting lineup
With Ellington’s move into the starting lineup, he’s been heating up, especially from the 3-point line. In a perfect world, those minutes would be going to a young player such as Svi Mykhailiuk, Saddiq Bey or Josh Jackson, but with the way Ellington has been playing, the production is as big a benefit as the development of the young players.
Casey has noted that watching Ellington run plays precisely is important for the young players to learn. It’s not a permanent situation, but just having Ellington in the lineup and playing well is a comfort for Casey.
“That's one reason why we want him here. We have so many similar pieces in Svi and Saddiq and Josh and you have a steady guy like Wayne sitting there,” Casey said. “If those other guys are not (playing well) or injured or whatever, Wayne's ready to step in. He's a true pro; he's exactly what we need in that position, with his leadership and consistency. He's come through with flying colors.”
Ellington had a season-high 24 points, including going 7-of-11 on 3-pointers, in the loss to the Heat on Monday. He has four games in which he scored in double figures and is averaging 10 points and shooting 47% from beyond the arc.