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Hawks’ Al Horford tore pectoral muscle, out indefinitely

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?

  1. rickyspanish - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    This is becoming very strange.

    • spthegr8 - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      A Torn Pec again..??? Sign of HGH use. Just Saying’!!!

      • rockfish8 - Jan 16, 2014 at 6:07 AM

        Really?I played inside linebacker at Penn State and tore my pectoral muscle twice as well,being the recipient of a helmet to my shoulder that simply drove my arm back,tearing the pectoral muscle.Watching Horford on that play,it was obvious,to an athlete anyway,that he was in a position that left him vulnerable for just such an injury.He didn’t tear it working out or grabbing a board,he was involved in a violent play he was ill positioned for………………………..JUST SAYING

  2. mungman69 - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Philly will trade.

  3. mungman69 - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Philly will trade.

  4. wwttww - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    There’s No such thing a bball gods. Time and chance happen to every player. If there were bball gods Miami and LA would fall into the ocean and Seattle would have a team.

  5. thomaskouns - Dec 27, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Obviously there’s no proof but really gets you wondering about the amount of PED use in the NBA especially considering their piss-poor testing policy.

    Media and NBA front office types that deny there is substantial PED use (debatable what you considering ‘substantial’) in the league are either naive or lying – with so much money on the line many players will cross that line,

  6. xcheman - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    I know this is terrible…..but Celtics fans like me have been rooting for a major Hawks injury, since the Celtics receive the worse pick of the Hawks and. Nets. I want the Hawks to take a nosedive and the Nets and Hawks to tie for worst record in the League.

  7. phaktor333 - Dec 28, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    This injury may send a ripple effect in regards to the fortunes of the Boston Celtics. If he is out for the season (which he should be due to the nature of the injury and the fact that he has torn the pectoral muscle before), the Hawks may conceivably struggle. However, with the manner in which the team was built, this may be Jeff Teague’s time to shine and show that he is ready to make the Hawks his team.

  8. scalfor3 - Dec 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Yeah, feel bad for Horford but this is a huge break for the C’s. Although, considering the state of the East, it’s hard to imagine Atlanta completely dropping out of the playoff race.

    Maybe this pushes them back towards a trade for Asik?

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