The Atlanta Hawks made a future-facing deal in advance of the trade deadline, acquiring a starting-caliber center from the Houston Rockets in a four-team deal that sent a first-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves. At the time of the deal, though, the Hawks were well aware that Clint Capela — who is under contract for three additional seasons after the 2019-20 campaign — might be on the shelf for a while and, now, there is additional clarity on his status.
When the team returned to practice after the All-Star break, head coach Lloyd Pierce indicated (via the AJC) that Capela would be out for “weeks,” with Kevin Chouinard of Hawks.com bringing word from Pierce that seven to ten games would be his educated guess for a timetable. From there, the organization released an official injury update on Wednesday evening, indicating that the 25-year-old would be re-evaluated in two weeks.
As with any scenario like this, re-evaluation does not equal return, placing Capela in limbo that includes a multi-week absence. The Hawks indicated that he continues to battle a right calcaneus contusion and plantar fasciitis) and, while he has begun participating in modified shooting while continuing non-impact conditioning and strength work as part of his rehabilitation, he isn’t practicing with the team in full.
Capela wasn’t the only player sidelined when the team kick-started its post-break work, with Skal Labissiere (left knee chondral injury) also on the shelf. The Hawks announced that Labissiere has started modified shooting routines along with non-impact conditioning and strength work, but he will also be re-evaluated in two weeks, continuing his absence from game action that extends back to late December in Portland.
With Capela and Labissiere unavailable, the Hawks will lean on Dewayne Dedmon, who performed well in his first three outings after returning to Atlanta. The Hawks can also deploy John Collins at the center position, with the potential for minutes for Bruno Fernando and/or Damian Jones when needed.
Atlanta will participate in seven games before the two-week re-evaluation period concludes, with the first game after that benchmark occurring on March 6 against the Washington Wizards.