Hawks' Trae Young sheds light on injury recovery, timeline for return: 'Hopefully'

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young opened up about the finger injury and subsequent surgery that has kept him sidelined for the past 21 games.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (36-41) haven’t had their three-time All-Star game but for one game since the All-Star break. He has been sidelined ever since with a finger injury that required surgery and the Hawks have offered few updates.

They are 12-9 without him, an encouraging development amid an injury-marred season. Young is one of several Hawks who have missed large swaths of time this season.

He joins Onyeka Okongwu on the injury report, while Saddiq Bey is out for the season.

This marks the longest stretch of missed games in Young’s career. And he may be growing antsy, posting a series of workout clips before shedding light on his progress during the latest episode of his podcast, “From The Point by Trae Young”.

I feel good, definitely,” Young said on April 5. “I'm out of my cast from surgery, so a lot better than what I've been. 

Young joked about showing his surgically repaired knuckle for fear of being turned into a meme.

Hawks fans are all too familiar with unsightly knuckles after dealing with John Collins’ swollen knuckle in his right ring finger the past two seasons. Young, who injured his pinky, noted his role on the floor has played a part in his prolonged absence.

“It's getting better. 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.”

Young will finish with the fewest games played of his career.

Hawks could get Trae Young back for closing stretch, postseason

The Hawks would surely welcome him back. He is averaging career highs with 10.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game while also shooting 37.1% from beyond the arc to go with 26.4 points this season.

He was slumping even before the injury, averaging 15.0 points and shooting 24.2% from downtown in the last four games before he started sitting out.

Young still averaged 10.3 assists (to 3.5 turnovers) in that span.

The Hawks have been especially hot of late, winning six of their last eight outings. It’s a trend that they hope will continue into the postseason, first in the Play-In Tournament in a likely rematch against the Chicago Bulls.

If Young and the Hawks survive that, then it’s back to the playoffs to avenge their swift five-game exit from last season.