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Hornets’ Jefferson will miss 4 weeks with groin injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets say center Al Jefferson will miss a minimum of four weeks with a strain of an adductor muscle in his left groin.

Jefferson underwent an MRI earlier Tuesday.

The injury is a huge blow to Charlotte’s faint playoff hopes. The Hornets are struggling at 10-22 anyway and losing a third-team All-NBA player from last season surely won’t help their cause.

Bismack Biyombo will take over at center. He isn’t nearly the threat that Jefferson is on offense.

Jefferson is Charlotte’s top scorer, averaging 18 points while playing 32.2 minutes per game. He grabs 8.2 rebounds a game.

The 6-foot-10 center has scored in double figures in 28 of 32 games this season.

He has a team-leading 10 double-doubles this season and has scored at least 20 points in 14 games, including a season-high 34 points against Atlanta on Nov. 7.

Jefferson left Monday’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the fourth quarter after aggravating a groin strain that had been plaguing him for the past week. The Hornets lost in overtime.

The Hornets plan to recall rookie Noah Vonleh from the NBA’s D-League to help fill the void.

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