Will De’Andre Hunter return this season?

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It’s the question many Hawks fans have been asking for months now. Hunter had a breakout start to the season, averaging 16.8 points per game before he exited early against Washington back in January with a knee injury. He went on to miss the next 23 games for Atlanta before returning on a minutes restriction against the Clippers on March 22nd.

He would then go on to appear in just two games before being placed back on the injury report and has yet to return to the lineup since. The combination of his level of play pre-injury and the lack of information regarding his return has left many fans frustrated, to say the least. It also hasn’t helped that Travis Schlenk has noted on a few occasions that he felt Hunter was close to returning, only for Hunter to remain out.

Schlenk certainly wasn’t trying to mislead or spark false hope, but it really just seems like no one in or out of the organization has any idea when Hunter might return. The team has been very clear that they don’t want to rush anyone back, and Schlenk confirmed today on 92.9 The Game that Hunter still does not feel confident enough to play on the knee.

I think it’s reasonable to assume Hunter has played his last minutes of the 20-21 regular season. While the team certainly would like him back for the postseason, he’d have little time on the court to prepare for it. With only six games and two weeks left until the postseason, it feels extremely unlikely that he is thrust back into action. Even if Hunter does return, will he be a better option than Huerter, Snell, or even Hill with the little time he’d have to get back into game shape? Unless something major changes in the next few days, Hawks fans should be prepared for a Hunter-less postseason.

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