As MC reports there was a surprise player on the Hawks practice floor Monday as Joe Johnson took some midrange jump shots towards to the end of practice.
"For the most part if was pain-free," he said. "But we are taking it one day at a time. I may have a little soreness tomorrow. We are trying to get it as strong as possible."
Pain free is a good sign as the elbow had clearly hampered Johnson's shooting stroke before surgery. Caution that Johnson's appearance doesn't mean that he is on target to return sooner than the four week window but it does signify that everything appears to be on track.
Johnson went on to tell Cunningham that perhaps him being out was a blessing in disguise for himself and for the team.
"Things happen in mysterious ways," Johnson said. "This could be a blessing in disguise. It can help me feel better or give me a break, and let the guys go out there and figure things out [without him]. Who knows? So far, so good."
While I am not of the opinion that the Hawks are a better team without Johnson, even I can't argue that they have stepped their play up since his injury. The challenge for Johnson will be to fit in when he does return without upsetting what the team has going right now.