On the heels of a tremendous comeback victory in the team’s home opener, the Atlanta Hawks will play host to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening. Forward Alex Poythress will not be available for the contest but the 25-year-old seemingly avoided the worst-case scenario after being forced to the sideline early on Wednesday with a left knee injury.
Poythress, who is operating on a two-way contract, will be sidelined for Saturday’s game but the Hawks announced that he has been diagnosed with a capsular sprain and bone bruise. It was immediately clear that he would not return to the game against the Mavericks when the injury took place but, all things considered, this is a positive result given the ugly potential nature of knee ailments.
In the absence of Poythress (which will continue for at least the road games in Philadelphia and Cleveland), the Hawks are even more short-handed at the power forward spot. With that said, the team leaned on “small ball” looks featuring the likes of Taurean Prince and even DeAndre’ Bembry at the 4 on Wednesday evening, and did so to some level of success.
Elsewhere, the Hawks also announced that Daniel Hamilton has been upgraded to available in advance of Saturday’s game, representing a sizable step forward in his rehabilitation. Hamilton has been working his way back after suffering a tear in his right rotator cuff and he recently returned to what the team described as “modified practice” before accelerating into full contact by the end of the week.
It will be interesting to see when and if Hamilton is able to join the rotation, as the 23-year-old is signed to a one-year, minimum contract and would presumably trail players like Bembry and Kevin Huerter in the pecking order even when physically available to play. Still, the Hawks may want to take a glance at what the former Oklahoma City Thunder perimeter player can do in the coming days and it is encouraging that he may return to live game action in the near future.
Stay tuned as more information becomes available.