The Detroit Pistons delivered some good news on Tuesday when they announced that rookie point guard Killian Hayes was progressing in his recovery from a torn labrum. He suffered this injury just seven games into his debut season and has been out of the lineup since then.
In a press release, the Pistons stated that Hayes has been cleared for on-court activity and would begin a phased progression towards his return to full-contact practice and games. The team will re-evaluate his status again in three weeks, which should give him more than 20 games at the end of the season to get some action in.
Killian Hayes cleared for basketball activities by the Detroit Pistons
Hayes struggled mightily to begin his season, particularly with his jump shot. Too many of his shots ended up coming in the form of low-efficiency step-backs and he wasn’t able to get into a groove with catch-and-shoot opportunities.
He was 4-of-12 from the field on catch-and-shoot shots, which is a fine rate of conversion, if a bit too few attempts in seven games of action. Conversely, he was just 1-of-16 on shots off the dribble, many of which were step-back jumpers.
It’s worth noting that in his 2019-20 season with Ratiopharm Ulm, Hayes was quite a bit better off the dribble than catch-and-shooting. He scored 84 points in 85 opportunities off the dribble, so there’s plenty of room for hope that he’s going to figure that out again when he gets back on the floor.
This won’t be a totally wasted season for Killian Hayes, and that’s a small mercy for this Pistons team which finds itself with the second-worst record in the NBA. Maybe there will even be a developmental benefit that comes from his rookie season coming in two separate stints, although that’s probably a bit optimistic to hope for.
At any rate, the clock has started on Hayes’ return and if all goes well, we may see him back on the floor by the start of the second week of April.