Hawks Lose Breakthrough Player for Significant Period

A tough break for the Atlanta Hawks, but it could have been a lot worse, as the team has announced that breakout forward Jalen Johnson will be out four-to-six weeks with a wrist injury.

The results of the imaging, however, are a best-case scenario for Johnson, is that the tests did not show any breaks or fractures, and surgery won't be required, as reported by Shams Charania. The third-year player suffered the injury Saturday night trying to break his fall under the basket after being fouled by Kyle Kuzma on a dunk attempt. After the play, Johnson shot the free throw with one hand, then left the court, obviously frustrated.

The youngster, however, woke up Sunday morning with a great attitude, responding to the news of his imaging positively on social media: 

"Overcoming a little adversity ain’t nothing new to me!" he wrote. 

Johnson, who's nearly doubled his minutes this season after the Hawks traded John Collins to clear the path for him, is one of the top candidates for NBA Most Improved Player. He's bumped his points per game average from 5.6 to over 14, and his rebounding from 4.0 last season to 7.3, shooting over 59% from the floor while firing threes at a very strong 42.5% pace. He's also dishing out 2.4 assists, with 1.1 steals and 1.0 block per game, all in about 29 minutes per night.

Johnson, 21, was the Hawks' 20th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, out of Duke.