The hits keep on coming for the Atlanta Hawks, as starting center Pero Antic has been ruled out of Thursday's game with Portland as a result of a sprained right ankle. The injury was first reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following the disappointing loss in Minnesota on Wednesday, but his Antic's absence for Thursday was announced by Mike Budenholzer in the pregame press conference.
Antic has been a revelation in place of Al Horford this season, averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds per game in 18 minutes, but his play has been much more significant than the statistics indicate, and this is a tremendous loss. With Pero out of the lineup for a 17-game stretch in February and early March, the Hawks went a disastrous 4-13, and without him available, Elton Brand and Mike Muscala will be the only healthy options at the center position.
Antic's timetable for return is still unknown at this stage, but we will bring updates as more information becomes available.