San Francisco — Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III is expected to miss an extended amount of time due to a right-hand injury, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The fifth-year big man suffered an injury to his right hand during the first half of Monday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. He left the game in the second quarter and did not return.
It is unclear how long Bagley will be unavailable, but Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported that the 6-foot-11 forward will miss six to eight weeks and will likely need surgery to repair two broken fingers on his right hand.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Bagley did not practice on Tuesday ahead of the Pistons’ rematch with the Golden State Warriors. A team spokesperson said Bagley is still undergoing testing, but an official release is expected soon.
“He got his arm clamped and got (the hand) stuck,” Casey said. “I think it was on (Jusuf) Nurkic. I saw it on film where he got it clamped and caught.”
Bagley’s latest injury marks the third instance this season in which he will miss games due to injury or illness. He missed the first 13 games of the season due to a MCL sprain and bone bruise in his right knee. More recently, he was sidelined for the Pistons’ loss to the LA Clippers on Dec. 26 and win over the Orlando Magic on Dec. 28 due to a non-Covid illness.
Bagley, who entered the year as a starter and was later moved to the second unit, is averaging 10.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in 25 games for the Pistons this season.
The injury is the latest blow to the Pistons’ depth after losing Cade Cunningham for the year due to season-ending surgery to treat a stress fracture in his left shin.
The loss of Bagley could limit Detroit’s ability to use a two-big lineup in their rotation for an extended amount of time, unless veteran center Nerlens Noel receives an opportunity to contribute.
“We’ll have to stagger (Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren), but it puts Nerlens in play also,” Casey said. “He’s gotta be ready whether it’s foul trouble or whatever it is, he’s got to be ready to step in and help out. We’ll have to stagger those two and find the mix of our two bigs in both lineups.”
Hayes set to return from suspension
While Bagley will likely will be unavailable for the foreseeable future, the Pistons will get their starting point guard back when Killian Hayes returns from his three-game suspension on Wednesday against the Warriors.
The Pistons are 1-2 over the last three games without the services of Hayes, who was suspended by the league for retaliating against Orlando Magic center Mo Wagner. Detroit suffered losses to the Chicago Bulls and Trail Blazers and prevailed with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Hayes’ absence. The Pistons will conclude their five-game road trip with games against the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
Casey said Hayes’ return will benefit Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey the most, who’s struggled in the last two games.
“There’s a lot of pressure on Ivey, a rookie guard running the show and getting us in the offense,” Casey said. “He does a great job of attacking, but at other times you gotta make sure he sees the kickouts because that creates your rhythm. If you come down and a guy’s open and they don’t get the ball and they’re not getting their rhythm shots, that takes them out of rhythm.”
Hayes is averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season while shooting a career-high 32% from the 3-point line.
Pistons at Warriors
▶ Tipoff: 10 p.m. Wednesday, Chase Center, San Francisco
▶ TV/radio: BSD/97.1 FM
▶ Outlook: The Pistons (10-30) look to rebound from their latest loss to the Portland Trail Blazers with their final meeting of the season against the Golden State Warriors (20-18). Winners of five consecutive games, the Warriors beat the Atlanta Hawks in double overtime on Monday in a game in which Klay Thompson exploded for 54 points. Detroit had four starters score at least 20 points in their 128-114 victory over Golden State on Oct. 30.