The Atlanta Hawks have been without John Collins for a while. The second-year big man from Wake Forest was sidelined for the second half of the preseason with an ankle injury and, eventually, that exhibition absence made its way into the regular season.
When the most recent update emerged with regard to Collins, the 21-year-old was scheduled to be re-evaluated in advance of the team’s home opener on Oct. 24 and that took place on Tuesday. While the Hawks have not officially announced the result of the re-evaluation, Chris Vivlamore of the AJC brings word that, at the very least, Collins will miss Wednesday’s contest with the potential for a lengthier absence.
Hawks' John Collins (ankle) will be OUT for tonight's home opener. Don't expect power forward to be back for several weeks, into November. Still hasn't done court work.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) October 23, 2018
In addition, Vivlamore notes in print that Collins “will miss several more weeks” with a timeline for return in November. He projects a potential for nine additional games on the shelf and notes that Collins isn’t on the floor for rehab work just yet.
It remains to be seen as to what the official pronouncement will be but, in Collins’ absence, the Hawks are woefully undermanned at the power forward position. Vince Carter started the first three games of the campaign but, at this stage, he is a pure supporting piece and, behind him, the Hawks have only Alex Poythress (on a two-way deal) and Omari Spellman (perhaps better at center) available for minutes.
Atlanta is still without Dewayne Dedmon at the center spot, leaving even less depth, but the team desperately misses Collins on a number of fronts, including his force and athleticism on both ends of the floor. Ankle injuries can linger, as evidenced by the ailment that plagued Mike Muscala for extended time last season, and this is a spot where caution may prevail for the Hawks given the value of Collins for the future and the lack of urgency in compiling present-day victories.
Stay tuned for more updates as they arrive but Hawks fans may not see John Collins on the floor for a while.