Update: The Hawks have upgraded Collins to questionable for Tuesday’s game in Cleveland.
The Atlanta Hawks have been without rookie big man John Collins for 10 days and, in short, his absence has been felt. However, the impressive youngster appears to be slightly ahead of schedule after an initial projected timeline of two-to-three weeks on the shelf.
John Collins (shoulder) says chance he could play Wed. at CLE. If not then, looks 'really good' for return Thurs. vs. DET. Injured 11/30.— Michael Cunningham (@MCunninghamAJC) December 10, 2017
Michael Cunningham of the AJC brings word that Collins could take the floor as early as Tuesday in Cleveland, with a potentially more realistic target of a home game against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday evening. Beyond that, it appears there is no pain in Collins’ shoulder at this time and he was seen warming up prior to Atlanta’s home game on Saturday evening against Orlando.
Collins says no pain in shoulder but feels tight after being immobile for a while. He did pregame 1-on-1 drills today.— Michael Cunningham (@MCunninghamAJC) December 10, 2017
In Collins’ absence, the Hawks have leaned heavily on Ersan Ilyasova, Tyler Cavanaugh, Luke Babbitt and Miles Plumlee. In addition, Atlanta has been without starting center Dewayne Dedmon, who was injured prior to Collins, leaving Mike Budenholzer with very limited options in the frontcourt.
In some ways, the team has performed admirably without Collins available, especially when considering his offensive gravity and effectiveness on the glass. Still, it will be (very) nice to see the rookie back on the floor in short order and the Atlanta Hawks could receive that bump in the very near future.