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Kemba Walker expected to return tonight vs. Orlando Magic

From NBA media reports

Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker was saying the right things and even using the proper pronouns, as in “We’ve got to change our approach” and “Coach and the staff give us a great game plan…” Just having Walker part of “we” and “us” is an encouraging sign for Charlotte — the Hornets’ leading scorer and 2017 All-Star is expected to play Monday against Orlando (7 ET, NBA League Pass), after his two-game absence with a bruised left shoulder.

Walker is eager to end Charlotte’s four-game losing streak, the last two of which (at Toronto an at Miami) he sat out after suffering the contusion 10 days against San Antonio. Averaging 22.3 points and 6.2 assists, Walker practiced Sunday. Longtime Hornets beat writer Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer was on hand:

“I’m good. Just get back out there and do what I do and be a leader. We’ve been struggling lately,” Walker said following practice. “I hate missing games. It was tough watching, especially because we lost.”

The Hornets have struggled to field their intended starting five much of the season. Nic Batum was out with a torn ligament in his left elbow (it still bothers him) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed several games with an excused personal absence, following the death of his grandmother.

Walker practiced Sunday with a pad on his left shoulder, but seemed to be unencumbered dribbling with his left arm.

“It’s a little sore, but everybody in the NBA is a little sore this time of year. We’re 20 games in,” Walker said. “I’ll be fine.”

The Hornets are getting antsy, at 8-13, to be able to say the same thing. They play four home games in six nights this week at Spectrum Center, where they’ll test their 7-3 home record against Orlando, Golden State, Chicago and the L.A. Lakers. Charlotte is 1-10 on the road.

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