Hawks: Travis Schlenk expects Onyeka Okongwu back by January or February

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Travis Schlenk told 92.9 The Game this afternoon that he expects to have Onyeka Okgonwu back by January or February following his surgery to repair a torn labrum this offseason.

Okongwu showed his value during the playoffs, where he was able to effectively guard multiple positions while threatening near the basket on the offensive end. The former sixth-overall pick is an intriguing talent but will once again start a season dealing with an injury after missing much of his rookie campaign with a foot issue.

If we base his timetable to return on Schlenk’s word, Big O could be available just before the All-Star break, which is the weekend of February 18th-20th of 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. The regular season will conclude on April 10th, so Onyeka Okongwu could be in full game shape by the time playoffs roll around.

Schlenk signed Gorgui Dieng to backup Clint Capela while the second-year big man out of USC rehabs from surgery. Dieng is a 6’10” center who is reliable on the defensive end and can spread the floor on the offensive end. A true modern-day NBA big man that shot at a 43% clip from three last season and is a career 35.7% three-point shooter. He should see his minutes slowly vanish as Big O gets healthier and in better shape, but he’s a fine replacement until then.

 

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