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Hawks Joe Johnson out 4-6 weeks after elbow surgery

Dec 1, 2010, 7:37 PM EDT

Image (1) jjohnson_locker-thumb-250x140-14871.jpg for post 2847

Joe Johnson, the Atlanta Hawks leading scorer and go-to guy in the clutch, will miss 4-6 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, according to a tweet by Hawks public relations guy Arthur Triche.

Johnson was out Wednesday night against the Grizzlies, with Mo Evans getting the start. Also, expect to see more of Jamal Crawford off the bench.

Johnson has been averaging 17.1 points per game to lead the Hawks, but he has not been right. His field goal percentage had fallen .50 points, his three point shooting was down to 25.6 percent (from 36.9 percent last season) and overall he had been just pretty average.

This past summer, Johnson signed a six-year max deal worth $124 million to stay with the Hawks. The Hawks overpaid to keep him and keep their current core together.

The injury seems to have come out of nowhere — he played Sunday against the Knicks but was just 3 of 15 from the floor. He woke up the next morning and complained of the sore elbow.

Now it is surgery and at least a month on the shelf. The Hawks are currently 11-7 on the season and would be the third seed in the East if the playoffs started today. That may be a difficult position to maintain for the next month.

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