Collins to miss start of sea­son

Power for­ward in­jured his left an­kle dur­ing sec­ond ex­hi­bi­tion game.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - SPORTS - By Chris Vivlam­ore cvivlam­ore@ajc.com

The Hawks will be with­out John Collins for at least the first three games of the reg­u­lar sea­son with a left an­kle in­jury. He is ex­pected to be out at least 10 days.

Collins had an MRI exam Mon­day that re­vealed mild in­flam­ma­tion and sore­ness in his left an­kle. He un­der­went a non­sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure that day, de­scribed as an in­jec­tion by a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion. He will be re-eval­u­ated Oct. 22. His sta­tus will be up­dated at that time, ac­cord­ing to the team.

The Hawks open the reg­u­lar sea­son Wed­nes­day at the Knicks, the start of a three-game trip that in­cludes games at the Griz­zlies on Fri­day and at the Cava­liers on Sun­day (Oct. 21).

The Hawks home opener is Oct. 24 against the Mav­er­icks.

Collins, the sec­ond-year power for­ward and ex­pected starter, ex­pe­ri­enced left an­kle sore­ness that forced him out of the Hawks’ sec­ond ex­hi­bi­tion game against the Griz­zlies on Oct. 5. He missed the fi­nal three ex­hi­bi­tion games, in­clud­ing Fri­day’s pre­sea­son fi­nale at the Heat.

There were in­di­ca­tions Collins could miss the start of the reg­u­lar sea­son af­ter he missed Wed­nes­day’s ex­hi­bi­tion against the Spurs.

“He’s ob­vi­ously got some­thing go­ing with the an­kle,” coach Lloyd Pierce said be­fore that game. “I’m not smart enough to know the terms. I just know it’s an an­kle con­cern.”

In his one-plus games this pre­sea­son, Collins av­er­aged 11.0 points, 2.5 re­bounds and 2.0 as­sists.

Last sea­son, Collins was named to the NBA All-Rookie Sec­ond Team af­ter av­er­ag­ing 10.5 points, 7.3 re­bounds, 1.3 as­sists and 1.1 blocks.

In Collins’ ab­sence, the Hawks have started rookie Omari Spell­man and vet­eran Vince Carter at power for­ward.

The Hawks al­most cer­tainly will be with­out cen­ter De­wayne Ded­mon (avul­sion frac­ture, left an­kle), guard/for­ward Justin An­der­son (re­hab from tib­ial stress syn­drome, left leg) and guard/for­ward Daniel Hamil­ton (re­hab from right ro­ta­tor cuff tear) for the start of the sea­son. Ded­mon is the clos­est of the three to be cleared. His re­turn for the sea­son opener was de­scribed as “a long shot but pos­si­ble” by a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion.

John Collins av­er­aged 10.5 points, 7.3 re­bounds as a rookie last sea­son.

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