Yesterday Al Horford told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he felt 70 percent sure he would return for the playoffs. This morning, he told Yahoo! Sports he expected to miss the entire postseason because his torn pectoral muscle wasn’t recovering like he felt it should. And now, after meeting with a doctor, Horford has done his latest flip-flop:
The All-Star center will return against the Dallas Mavericks in Atlanta’s regular season finale and now expects to play 15 minutes per game in the first round of the playoffs. (Marc Spears Twitter)
Al Horford changes mind telling Yahoo! he will return to action in limited fashion 4/26 vs DAL after doc meeting. The Hawks forward-center told Y! Sports in the morning he didn’t expect to return from the postseason due to pectoral injury suffered earlier this season. But doctor told him some pectoral weakness is normal and not to be fearful of it, which led Horford to changing his mind and becoming more confident for return. He will play about 15 minutes per game in 1st round.
The Hawks have performed admirably without Horford in the lineup, but as Zach Lowe notes, they have not been able to score efficiently against the league’s best defenses without their star. Considering that Boston’s defense could snuff out a bonfire without any help from firefighters, the Hawks are relying on Horford’s return not just to add 15-17 points, but also to entirely reverse their inability to score against the league’s best, and to do that right away.
Call me a homer, but: That’s probably too much to ask from a center who has missed three and a half months, still doesn’t feel close to 100 percent and is expected to be limited to 15 minutes per game.