Training camp is just around the corner and we will be taking a look at some potential storylines surrounding the Hawks as they head into the preseason. Today we take a look at Lou Williams' recovery from ACL surgery.
One of the biggest questions for the Atlanta Hawks heading into training camp will be the status of Lou Williams for the early part of the season. Williams was injured on January 18 against the Brooklyn Nets and had surgery to repair a torn ACL on February 7. The team was hopeful that he would be ready for the start of the season and he has returned to basketball related workouts.
In most cases ACL recovery time is 8-12 months. October would be the eight month mark for Williams so a return for opening night is certainly a possibility. However, as Derrick Rose situation showed last year there is still no guarantees and the Hawks have not officially announced anything regarding Williams although I expect the question will be asked at media day prior to training camp.
Case in point is Rajon Rondo's situation. Rondo suffered what was called a partial tear of his ACL in a game against the Hawks last season. He had surgery eight days after Williams on February 15 and his status for the preseason and season opener appears to be in doubt.
The Hawks aren't likely to rush Williams and getting comfortable playing again is a big part in recovering from an ACL injury. If Williams is not ready to go at the start of the season then it could have an effect on what the roster looks like on opening night.
Atlanta currently has 14 players under contract for next season. One of those players is point guard Shelvin Mack whose contract is not guaranteed. Atlanta recently issued a training camp invite to veteran Royal Ivey who will also be trying to impress the coaching staff during training camp. If Williams is not ready then the Hawks could opt to use their remaining roster spot on another guard just to provide a little more depth.
If Williams is healthy come opening day then Atlanta is likely to leave a roster spot open for further flexibility should an opportunity for a trade arise during the season.
I asked the question and Chris Vivlamore of the AJC was apparently there to answer: