Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish Played His Entire Freshman Season with Various Injuries

Cam Reddish #22 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cam Reddish #22 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A look back at Cam Reddish’s freshman season at Duke University, and how the injuries suffered there have kept him out of working out and playing in Summer League with the Atlanta Hawks.

Though Cam Reddish, now of the Atlanta Hawks, was the #2 overall recruit in the 2019 NBA Draft class ahead of his teammate Zion Williamson, Reddish did not play like the #2 guy in his class.

According to a recent story by Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (subscription required), much of his lackluster play can be tied to a rash of injuries that Reddish suffered while playing for Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils. Reddish played through broken ribs (no small feat) as well as a big toe issue for much of his freshman season.

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In the buildup to the 2019 NBA draft, Reddish underwent a core muscle surgery, which normally has a six-to-eight week timetable of recuperation, but Reddish has already blown past that estimate. Is this a red flag for Reddish’s health in the future, or are the Atlanta Hawks just being extremely conservative in order to ensure Reddish is fully “back” for the 2019-20 season.

Sports medicine surgeon Brian Schulz of Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute claimed in Kirschner’s article that the team not clearing him is no cause for concern, but there is clearly a reason for it — whether Reddish is still experiencing pain or the medical staff is just giving him plenty of time to recuperate.

Fans of the Atlanta Hawks were elated when Reddish fell to the team at #10 in the 2019 NBA draft, though the fact that he has not played yet is surely increasing the mystery surrounding this feted rookie.

Just like Kevin Huerter last year, let’s hope this offseason procedure allows Reddish to rest up fully and come in with the same all-around impact that Red Pepper produced last year.

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There’s no question that Reddish has talent, and with a better medical staff around him on the Hawks, his career should be a long and fruitful one.