Injured Hawks center Al Horford has been wobbly in responses late about when he might return to the Hawks’ active lineup. The potential on-court return date has varied from the second round, to not at all, to returning tonight against Dallas.
Yesterday, the Hawks and Horford confirmed that the two-time All Star would certainly miss the Hawks’ first-round matchup with the Boston Celtics. While he has been cleared for on-court activity, the strength would not allow him to be able to adequately play on both ends of the floor.
As reported yesterday by the AJC, Horford’s progress to this point has been up-and-down, and the addition of on-court practice has dampered the expectations of when horford could return to be a meaningful contender.
“I realized that I’m not nearly where I need to be or want to be, not even to give the team anything yet. We kind of decided that it would be best for me to take some time off, keep working, see how I progress.
But we are just not where we need to be yet.”
Unfortunately, the Hawks may also be without Zaza Pachulia, who is going to be re-evaluated this weekend for a sprained foot ligament that has knocked him out of the last six games.
Horford was still hopeful about returning for the second round, but without him and Pachulia it may be just wishful thinking.
Game 1 of the first round will take place Saturday or Sunday in all likelihood, but the location is still to be determined. A Hawks win or Celtics loss would put Game 1 at Philips Arena; otherwise, the series will start in Boston.