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Omari Spellman to miss at least four weeks with high ankle sprain

The rookie big man rolled his ankle badly in Friday’s loss to Chicago

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Omari Spellman will miss at least four weeks with a high ankle sprain suffered in Friday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The Atlanta Hawks only have about five weeks left in their season, which concludes on April 10. Four weeks from the injury date for Spellman could put him back on the court as early as March 29, but his status will only be reevaluated at the end of that period and it’s quite possible the team will continue to hold him out for the remainder of the year. The Hawks are not fighting for their playoff lives and don’t necessarily need Spellman to rush back to the court; they’d rather ensure he’s fully healthy going into a pivotal development period this offseason.

Spellman has mostly played as the Hawks’ backup power forward this season behind John Collins and has averaged 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in his rookie year. He’ll likely be replaced by Vince Carter, with additional minutes opened up for Justin Anderson, Alex Poythress, and 10-day signee B.J. Johnson.