The Atlanta Hawks were dealt a huge blow on Tuesday as they lost all-star caliber center Al Horford for the remainder of the year due to season-ending surgery.
Horford suffered an injury to his right pectoral muscle on December 26th during the first overtime period of a double-overtime win in Cleveland. An MRI the following day revealed Horford had a complete tear of the muscle.
Tuesday’s surgery was performed at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital by Dr. Xavier Duralde and Hawks team physician Dr. Michael Bernot. According to a team news release, Horford will now undergo a period of rest, treatment and rehabilitation
Horford suffered a similar injury when he tore his left pectoral muscle 11 games into the 2011-12 season. He returned for the playoffs two years ago. However, he won’t be returning this season and will miss the 2014 playoffs, even if Atlanta advances past the first round, writes Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the AJC.
Big Al led the Hawks in scoring, field goal percentage, rebounding and blocks, averaging 18.6 points on 56.7% shooting with 8.4 boards and 1.5 rejections per game.
With Horford done, first-time head coach Mike Budenholzer will have to rely on a platoon at center between veteran Elton Brand, Gustavo Ayon and 31-year-old rookie Pero Antic.
Stay tuned to SDS for a piece about which Atlanta Hawks player will be the relied on the most going forward in Horford’s absence.