Dec 27, 2013, 6:31 PM EDT
One of only three teams in the Eastern Conference over .500 is now without its star player for a significant amount of time.
The Atlanta Hawks confirmed that Al Horford completely tore his right pectoral muscle on the play above, a simple defensive effort trying to deny an inbounds pass during the overtime of the Hawks/Cavs game Thursday. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com first reported this was potentially the case.
Horford was clearly in a lot of pain when the injury happened and it didn’t look like a minor tweak. Berger reminds us Horford has been down this road before.
He suffered a torn left pectoral muscle in January 2012, only 11 games into the lockout-shortened season. He returned for three playoff games in May, almost four months later.
Horford has been playing the best ball of his career this season, leading the Hawks averaging 18.6 points a game on 56.7 percent of his shots (he has a true shooting percentage of 58.8 percent) and pulling down 8.4 rebounds a game. He has paired well with Paul Millsap up front in an undersized but strong front line.
With Horford out for a while, the Hawks will lean on Elton Brand and Pero Antic — but that is a steep drop off in talent, particularly at the offensive end, which may have them looking to make a trade.
What have we done to anger the basketball gods to have this rash of injuries to elite players this season?
- Report: Washington Wizards contact Ray Allen, too 3
- Hornets rookie Noah Vonleh out 6-8 weeks after sports hernia surgery 13
- USA sails past New Zealand for easy 98-71 win behind Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried 8
- Ray Allen on making a decision about next season: “I’m not in any rush” 11
- Derrick Rose after first back-to-back in years: “I’m feeling good right now” 3
- Report: Rajon Rondo wants to start season with Celtics, see how things unfold 11
- Rajon Rondo’s agent denies they asked Celtics for a trade 14
- Team USA trails at the half, then pulls away for 98-77 win over Turkey at FIBA World Cup 19