Atlanta Hawks All-Star power forward Paul Millsap will play tonight against the Pistons after suffering a thumb contusion on Sunday.
Millsap’s injury occurred in the Hawks’ blowout win at Indiana during the third quarter. He had the ball on offense and was backing down David West in the low post, when Pacers backup center Ian Mahinmi tried to double-team Millsap and inadvertently hit him. At first, it looked like Millsap got hit in the face, but when he started walking to the Atlanta bench, he was clearly holding his hand in pain. The injury was later reported as a right thumb contusion, according to Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Millsap came back into the game later in the third period after missing a few minutes to wrap up his thumb, and played the entire fourth quarter. He had four points, five rebounds and two assists once he returned and finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists total.
After the game, Vivlamore tweeted “Paul Millsap said his thumb is sore but should be OK. Had to bend his fingernail all the way back into position.”
Fortunately, there was no team practice yesterday so the All-Star got extra time to recover.
There was a shootaround earlier this morning and the good news was Millsap was there with his thumb wrapped and in a starters jersey, according to CViv:
Paul Millsap had wrap on right thumb but wore starters jersey at shootaround. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) April 8, 2014
Hawks fans can fully expect to see Millsap in the starting lineup tonight alongside usual starters Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic.
Atlanta plays host to native son Josh Smith and the Detroit Pistons.
A win tonight by Millsap and the crew can help reduce Atlanta’s magic number from three games to two games until they clinch a playoff berth.