The Atlanta Hawks learned Thursday that their 125-108 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday came at a cost.
De'Andre Hunter exited in the first quarter with a right hip flexor strain and will be re-evaluated in one week, while John Collins will miss at least two weeks due to a left ankle sprain sustained on a dunk attempt just before halftime.
Tests on Collins' ankle on Thursday confirmed the severity of the sprain, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Hunter is third on the Hawks in scoring at 14.9 points per game, while Collins ranks fourth at 12.3 points per contest and second in rebounds at 7.5 per game.
An @emoryhealthcare injury update (1/2):— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 2, 2022
John Collins suffered a left ankle injury during last night’s game. The MRI confirmed a left ankle sprain with associated joint swelling. He will be out at least the next two weeks and his return to play will be updated as appropriate. pic.twitter.com/KyPrggVndB
While Atlanta’s lineup took a hit with the injuries to Hunter and Collins, reinforcements are on the way with Bogdan Bogdanovic expected to make his season debut soon, following his knee surgery in the offseason.
Bogdanovic averaged 15.1 points last season and his 169 made three-pointers were second on Atlanta behind Trae Young.
In addition to the imminent return of Bogdanovic, the Hawks also may have caught a break with the timing of the injuries to Hunter and Collins. Atlanta has the easiest strength of schedule this month, with its 14 December opponents sporting a .422 combined winning percentage.
Wednesday’s win snapped a season-worst three-game losing streak for Atlanta, who own a one-game lead over the Washington Wizards for first place in the Southeast Division.
An @emoryhealthcare injury update (2/2):— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) December 2, 2022
De’Andre Hunter also underwent an MRI today at the Emory Sports Medicine Complex. The MRI confirmed a right hip flexor strain. Hunter will be out at least one week and his return to play will be updated as appropriate. pic.twitter.com/iJvcF4EEFM