Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford may return in time to play in the regular-season finale on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.
Horford, who has been out since Jan. 17 following pectoral surgery, was asked Sunday to rate his likelihood of returning to the Hawks lineup from 1-10 and he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I would say a 7. I really want to play. I don’t know if it’s the smartest thing for me physically but I want to be out there and I feel like it’s realistic.”
That was Sunday… Monday was a different story:
“I don’t feel like it is realistic that I can play for the playoffs,” Horford told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. “Obviously, if we advance and start going we will see. But as of right now the way I feel I think I am out for the playoffs.”
Later in the day however, Horford seemed to change his mind on his availability after meeting with the doctor and had this to say:
“This is the guy that performed my surgery,” Horford told @YahooSports. “He gave me the OK. I’m feeling pretty good about it now. He just said, ‘You’re going to be limited. That’s all. You can go out there and play limited time.”
“It remains to be seen what I can bring,” Horford said. “But I hope to bring some scoring. They can’t expect a lot from me defensively because it’s been a while since I’ve even played. That’s one of the things that will hold me back, but scoring I can help.”
Horford could be in the line-up as soon as Thursday against Dallas but his time on the floor will be limited to about 15 minutes per game, which means he’ll probably be a reserve during the playoffs instead of a starter.