Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was the first to report the news:
John Jenkins experiencing back spasms and will not make road trip to Heat and Bobcats (Asheville) as precaution. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) October 6, 2013
The Atlanta Hawks organization later confirmed Vivlamore’s report:
John Jenkins will miss our first two preseason games (Tomorrow and Tuesday) with back spasms. He did not travel with us.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 6, 2013
Viv also reported that Jenkins “was experiencing lower back spasms at Sunday’s practice.”
Although it’s nothing serious, head coach Mike Budenholzer made the decision to leave Jenkins behind in Atlanta for “precautionary reasons.”
“We are just being extra cautious and making sure we keep him healthy and take our time,” Budenholzer said. “We want to make sure he is OK.”
Jenkins had to shut himself down for two months during the summer because of a small ligament tear in his back he discovered after returning from summer league play in Las Vegas. However, he said he was back to 100 percent the day before training camp started.
“I wasn’t hurt that bad,” Jenkins said. “I fought through it. I thought it was just a tight muscle. After summer league I got it checked out. … I played on it when I probably shouldn’t have. I had to pay for it by sitting out two months.”
It’s the right decision on coach Bud’s part to rest Jenkins for these first two exhibition games so he can fully recover — he’s going to be a huge part of the Hawks’ success this year and he needs to be 100 percent when the regular-season starts up.
Atlanta plays in Miami against the Heat tonight, then will head to Asheville tomorrow to face off against the Bobcats. Both games tip-off at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Check back at noon for tonight’s Hawks vs Heat game preview.