The final week of April has not been kind to the Atlanta Hawks, including a 44-point drubbing in Philadelphia on Wednesday and a double-digit loss to the struggling Detroit Pistons on Monday. In Monday’s tilt, two members of Atlanta’s backcourt suffered injuries, with Brandon Goodwin leaving the game in the second half with an ankle impingement and Kevin Huerter exiting with a left shoulder issue. While Goodwin (somewhat unexpectedly) returned on Wednesday, Huerter underwent an MRI and missed the game — after being initially listed as doubtful — against the 76ers.
From there, the Hawks indicated that the team was engaging a second opinion on Huerter’s injury. He was then listed as out — along with De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish — for Atlanta’s upcoming game in Philadelphia on Friday.
Finally, the organization released an official update on Thursday evening, indicating that the initial diagnosis of a left shoulder sprain was confirmed after the MRI and medical review. He has begun work to restore pain-free range of motion and strength in the shoulder.
There is no official timeline for this return — with the only note that Huerter will miss Friday’s game — and the Hawks say they will provide updates as appropriate.
In the hours before the official release, both Nate McMillan and Travis Schlenk expressed relatively optimistic views of Huerter’s injury.
Nate McMillan on Kevin Huerter and Brandon Goodwin. pic.twitter.com/Oq2SWAwsWh— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) April 27, 2021
Schlenk says Kevin Huerter has good strength and mobility in his shoulder, and the team does not currently believe he has a long term injury— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) April 27, 2021
Huerter is enjoying the best season of his career, and he was the only player on the roster to appear in Atlanta’s first 62 games. The 22-year-old boasts career-best marks in points (12.3 per game), field goal percentage (44.0 percent), two-point percentage (52.2 percent), steals (1.2 per game) and turnover rate (9.6 percent), among other statistics.
It remains to be seen as to when he will return, but it appears as if Huerter’s injury is not the worst case scenario.
Stay tuned as more information becomes available.