Two Hawks Ruled Out for the Season
Hawks F Joe Johnson and G Speedy Claxton will sit out the final three games of the season because of injuries that have nagged the last-place Hawks for months.
Johnson, the club’s leading scorer, missed his 19th straight game yesterday because of a bruised right calf. Coach Mike Woodson said the club decided to rest Johnson so he can recover more quickly.
Woodson doesn’t know if the injury will affect Johnson’s status as a member of the U.S. national team.
“I don’t know if he’s going to entertain that or not,” Woodson said. “Right now, he’s our concern in terms of the calf and we want to make sure he’s in perfect position as he goes through his summer regimen.”
Johnson averaged 25 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds for the Hawks, who entered last night’s game against the Cavaliers with five players injured.
Claxton, the Hawks’ assists leader, missed 33 games with a sore left knee. The 29-year-old signed with Atlanta as a free agent in September after playing last season with the Hornets.
“We’ve got to get Speedy back on board,” Woodson said.
The Hawks already were missing F Josh Childress, who is out for the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Atlanta doesn’t have F Zaza Pachulia (lower right leg) and G Salim Stoudamire (sprained right ankle), either. Both are expected to miss at least one more game. K TORONTO SIGNS FORWARD: The Raptors signed F Luke Jackson to a contract for the rest of this season and 2007-08.
Jackson, the 10th overall pick in the 2004 draft, had been playing for the Idaho Stampede of the National Development League. He averaged two points in just less than six minutes in six appearances with Toronto.
— From News Services
Hawks all-star Joe Johnson has missed 19 straight games with a bruised right calf.