The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that Hawks center Al Horford will definitely miss the team’s first-round playoffs series against the Boston Celtics.
Horford, who’s been out since January 11 (recovering from surgery to repair his left pectoral muscle), told the AJC today:
“Yesterday, I realized that I’m not nearly where I need to be or want to be – not even to give the team anything. That’s when we kind of decided that it was best for me to take some time off, keep working, see how I progress. But we are just not where we need to be yet.”
Prior to his injury, Horford was averaging 12.4 points, 7 boards, and 1.3 blocks per game. In his absence, Atlanta has won seven of 10 games this month and accumulated an overall record of 39-26 to secure the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed in the 2012 playoffs.
“I felt they have done really well [without me],” Horford said. “The guys have handled it well.”
The former University of Florida standout added that he will continue to work in the hopes he could return for the second round of the playoffs should the Hawks get past the Celtics.
“I knew from the very beginning that I wasn’t going to be able to get my strength until later this summer but I have very, very little strength in the post where I can’t hold my own ground,” Horford said. “The playoffs are intense. The intensity goes up. You can go in and play in a practice. You can even play in a regular-season game. But the playoffs are different. The way that I play, and to be most effective to the team, I’m not at that point.”
In addition to Al Horford’s injury, the Hawks are also without back up big man Zaza Pachulia (sprained foot), leaving the team to rely on third-string center Jason Collins.