Al Horford Now Says He Could Play On Thursday Against The Mavericks

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 03: Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks moves against Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 3, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In one of the biggest swerve jobs in recent memory, Al Horford may now make his return from pectoral surgery on Thursday in the regular season finale against the Dallas Mavericks. This revelation comes mere hours after Horford told Yahoo Sports that it wasn't "realistic" that he could return so soon and that he was probably out for at least the first round of the playoffs. Horford met with his surgeon on Monday and was reportedly encouraged by what he heard.

"You got to look for the people that have your best interest," Horford told Yahoo! Sports. "This is the guy that performed my surgery. He gave me the OK. I'm feeling pretty good about it now. He just said, 'You're going to be limited. That's all. You can go out there and play limited time.' That's kind of why I'm back in there."

So from being out of the playoffs to now making an appearance in the regular season finale. Horford could play up to 15 minutes on Thursday and if he has no setbacks would then be seemingly available for some sort of role in the playoffs. How effective he can be remains to be seen but given the Hawks current situation at center it certainly wouldn't hurt. With the way that this story has gone for the last few days however it may be smart to stay tuned.

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