The Hawks just can’t escape the injury bug. Coming off arguably their biggest win of the season over the Raptors — Nets would be, but that was pre-James Harden Nets — last night, the team announced today that their budding star small forward De’Andre Hunter would undergo knee surgery. He is expected to be out an additional two weeks after surgery.
The official message from the Hawks:
Forward De’Andre Hunter, who has missed the last four games due to right knee discomfort caused by wear and tear, will undergo a lateral meniscus arthroscopic debridement procedure on Monday at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center in Atlanta. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Kyle Hammond, the Hawks’ team orthopaedist. An update on Hunter’s recovery plan will be provided approximately two weeks following the surgery.
Following a so-so rookie campaign, Hunter has emerged as — at worst — the third-best player on the Hawks behind Trae Young and John Collins. He is averaging more than 17 points per game on over 50% from the field while also providing more defense than anyone on the Hawks not named Clint Capela, who’s playing like a defensive player of the year. He’s truly turning into the three-and-D wing that Travis Schlenk saw he could be, and I’m excited to see how high Hunter can grow.
Injuries happen in sports, but the Hawks have been cursed. They haven’t played a game anywhere close to full-strength all season, and this is just another blow. Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter, John Collins, Clint Capela, and Danilo Gallinari haven’t all been healthy at the same time for a single game this season. Lloyd Pierce deserves some credit for the fact that this team is still in a playoff position at this point.
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