The Atlanta Hawks enter Thursday night’s tilt against the San Antonio Spurs with a 23-24 record after 47 games. Only two players — John Collins and Kevin Huerter — have appeared in all 47 contests for Atlanta, with only Collins starting each and every game on the floor. On Wednesday, the Hawks announced that Collins would miss the team’s 48th game with a left ankle sprain and, a few hours before game time, the team provided a more extensive update on Collins’ injury.
After undergoing an MRI on Wednesday, Collins has been diagnosed with a lateral ankle sprain and associated bone bruise. He has started what the team describes as “low-level rehabilitation activities,” and Collins will be reviewed again in one week.
Collins is averaging 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this season, shooting 54.5 percent from the floor and 38.0 percent from three-point distance. The 23-year-old has also improved his defensive play in his fourth season, and he will be a coveted player in restricted free agency this summer.
In his absence, the Hawks will likely turn to Danilo Gallinari for increased deployment at the power forward spot. Atlanta elected to start Solomon Hill in the second half of Tuesday’s game after Collins was ruled out of action, and the Hawks also have Nathan Knight as a potential backup power forward option. In addition, De’Andre Hunter is fully capable of picking up minutes at the 4 when he returns, though the second-year forward has missed the last three games with knee soreness.