Al Jefferson injury: Bobcats C sprains ankle in preseason game

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Al Jefferson's Charlotte career isn't off to a very good start as the center had to be helped to the locker room on Friday.

The Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson left Friday's preseason game against the Miami Heat due to a sprained right ankle. The team said Jefferson will be reevaluated on Saturday, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

Jefferson left the game during the third quarter and had to be carried to the locker room, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. There was some initial fear that Jefferson may have suffered a serious knee injury prior to the team announcing he left due to the sprained ankle.

While the full extent of the injury is still unknown, the fact he apparently avoided a serious knee injury is good news for the Bobcats. Jefferson is entering his first season with Charlotte after signing a three-year, $41 million deal in the offseason. He's expected to play a major role and losing him for a long period of time would be a blow to Charlotte, as Ben Swanson of Rufus on Fire wrote:

Jefferson's role as the new centerpiece of the Bobcats' offense is key to their upcoming season, and a significant injury to him could devastate the team's scoring punch and depth in the frontcourt, further escalated because of a long-term injury to bench center Brendan Haywood.

The team will have a better understanding of the extent of the injury and a possible timeline for his return after Jefferson is reevaluated. Charlotte has more than two weeks until it begins the regular season, giving Jefferson some time to recover.

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