Hawks officially upgrade Trae Young, add 4 to injury report

The Atlanta Hawks made an official adjustment to Trae Young's status ahead of their game against the Charlotte Hornets.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (36-43) officially updated star point guard Trae Young’s status ahead of their showdown against the Charlotte Hornets.

Young has been sidelined since February 23 with a finger injury that required surgery.

It’s the second leg of a back-to-back for the Hawks, who are coming off a tough loss to the Miami Heat in double overtime. They haven’t had Young for the last 23 games, which could provide quite a spark.

The update to the official injury report comes on the heels of increasingly optimistic reports about his outlook.

Atlanta’s last update came just two days ago, noting that Young had been cleared for contact and team activities. Their previous update had been roughly two weeks prior, noting that he was moving on to motion exercises.

Young has spoken even more optimistically about the injury, noting he had shed his cast.

It's getting better,” Young said on the “From The Point” podcast on April 5. I'm getting close to making a fist again, and, yeah, then I can get on the court and do some ball-handling stuff,” Young said. “And if I wasn't a point guard that needed both my hands to dribble and pass, then I probably would have been able to come back maybe this week.

“I got another um call with the doctor next Monday. ... Hopefully, next week I can make a fist and I can get out of this cast, and then I can play. So, hopefully, next week.”

He could be seen on the sidelines during the loss to the Heat without even the brace that he had previously donned after getting out of the cast. Young was in a bit of a slump before he went down.

Still, he was having another strong season on the whole and would be a boost for the Hawks.

The Hawks did add four players to the report. De’Andre Hunter (rest), Dejounte Murray (right quad contusion), and Wesley Matthews (right hamstring strain) are all questionable.

Jalen Johnson re-aggravated an ankle injury and did not return versus the Heat. He is listed as out against the Hornets who enter the contest losers in 11 of their last 13 outings. The Hornets are 2-1 against the Hawks this season, though the latter won their most recent meeting.

Hawks have to jell before postseason

The Hawks are 12-11 without Young during this absence, the longest of his career. It’s given them a glimpse of what life might be like without his instant offense in the lineup.

They have done better than survive, especially given the circumstances.

But they have also had glaring shortcomings that Young would address and has for some time in his career. Most notably, the Hawks have tended to get bogged down offensively during this stretch.

It’s a problem that happened with Young and can happen with even the best offensive units in NBA history.

However, this version of the Hawks has thrived when emphasizing ball movement.

They will need to lean into that as they try rounding into form with Young back in the lineup ahead of the postseason, knowing they have their main offensive initiator back. He will have to buy into it after seeing how well Murray has thrived in a lead guard role.

And it will be incumbent upon Head Coach Quin Snyder to figure out how to blend the best parts of both worlds, especially without the benefit of some of their top complementary pieces.