It’s no mystery that everyone’s favorite Georgian has missed quite some time this season due to an Achilles injury. In fact, Zaza Pachulia has missed seven straight games and 13 of the last 24 overall. The last time Pachulia played was all the way back on March 3rd against the Lakers in LA.
On March 9th, right before the Hawks played the Heat in Miami, Zaza said that he wanted to seek a second opinion. Duringthat time head coach Larry Drew said that Zaza will be listed day-to-day.
“He has seen doctors,” coach Larry Drew said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Right now we are waiting to see how he progresses. It won’t be anything that we rush. We’ll wait on whenever he feels he can come back, or if he can come back. Right now, he’s just day-to-day.”
Since then, Zaza has been listed as out indefinitely. Now, there is a new rumor on ESPN.com that states that Zaza could miss the rest of the regular season.
“Right now, I can just say that I’m out indefinitely,” Pachulia told The AJC on Friday. “We are in the process of different treatments. There is no time frame. All I can say is it is indefinite. … Basically, everyday matters. We are expecting it to get better. We don’t know when or how soon.”
For those that haven’t had an Achilles injury before, I can assure you that it is painful and they can linger for a long time. The best cure for this is to keep stress off the Achilles, which in this case means that Zaza needs to sit out some games.
For those that may have forgot, he first suffered this injury last season after a collision under the basket with teammate Marvin Williams. Pachulia missed the final seven games of the season and was unavailable for the playoffs. His presence is missed just as much as it was then. Seeing as how the Hawks are thin in the front court, guys like Johan Petro, Ivan Johnson and others have stepped up after being issued significant minutes in Zaza’s absence.
“Obviously you don’t want to mess with an Achilles,” Pachulia said. “That is for sure. I know from (Hawks legend) Dominique (Wilkins) that he tore his Achilles, and he was out for a whole year. It’s very, very dangerous. It’s a sensitive subject where I am in my career right now. You don’t want to mess with an Achilles, that is for sure.”
Hawks fans can only hope that this is just a rumor and that Big Z will be back and healthy before the season ends — in worst case, be back in time for the playoffs. Until then, we can only hope for a safe and speedy recovery.