Tyrus Thomas will miss eight weeks as a torn meniscus requires surgery, the Charlotte Bobcats announced on Thursday. Thomas was a late scratch from Thursday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers due to swelling in the knee. An MRI revealed the need for surgery.
Thomas, albeit in a bench role, has been a stud for the Bobcats this season. As he has been throughout his star-crossed NBA career, T-Time is a top-flight defender with an outrageous 6.2 percent block rate (No. 3 in the league) and great rebound rates given his size. This season, he's managed to boost his per-minute scoring rate and efficiency, and has been Charlotte's most valuable player since opening night.
He plays just 21 minutes a night, but those 21 minutes will be hard to replace for Bobcats coach Paul Silas. Thomas signed a five-year, $40 million contract last summer after being traded to Charlotte by the Chicago Bulls at last season's trade deadline.
Charlotte won without Thomas on Thursday, edging the Sixers, with whom the Bobcats are in a dogfight for one of the East's two contested playoff spots. A slew of teams -- the Bobcats, Sixers, Pacers, Bucks, Pistons and, if you believe in miracles, Raptors and Wizards -- are fighting for the two bottom playoff berths in the Eastern Conference. Those spots come with the opportunity to play Boston, Miami, Chicago or Orlando in the first round.
For more on Thomas' injury, visit Rufus On Fire.