Sustaining a broken pinkie finger on his left hand with just over a minute left in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia, veteran power forward Antawn Jamison has been given a window of 5-7 weeks of missed time by team officials.
Jamison, averaging 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds on the season, was in the midst of his best month as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Improving his statistics month-over-month from the beginning of the season, Jamison produced 22.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 three-pointers per game in the month of February and was primed to continue leading the team in scoring with the departure of Mo Williams to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The injured finger marks the second of two substantial injuries Jamison sustained this season, the first of which was a swollen knee that stunted most of the opening month to the season. The injured finger also marks another notch in the woefully unfortunate season in Cleveland that has seen several players go down at various times, including starting center Anderson Varejao who continues to rehabilitate a surgically repaired tendon in his right foot.
The injury will allow the Cavaliers to potentially slide JJ Hickson back to the power forward slot while implementing a center rotation that features the newly acquired Semih Erden along with Samardo Samuels and Ryan Hollins. While the three-headed monster may make fans pull their collective hair out, it will provide the team with the opporunity to see if Hickson can replicate his efforts (18.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks in February) at his true position.
Taking a veteran leadership role with the team, this injury not only hinders the Cavaliers in terms of winning, but also impacts a relatively young locker room. Jamison will enter the 2011-12 season on the last year of his contract, one which will look to pay him just over $15 million.
Jamison will undergo surgery later today and the team will update as appropriate.
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)