The Atlanta Hawks’ tough season got even tougher on Friday when star Trae Young went down with another ankle injury.
The second-year guard exited Friday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second quarter with an ankle sprain and will miss at least one game.
Young was driving to the hoop when made slight contact with guard George Hill and twisted his ankle trying to step back. He had to be helped off the court by teammates John Collins and Kevin Huerter and did not return to the game.
Young is not traveling with the team as they head north to play the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Their road trip continues in Orlando on Monday and Boston on Friday, although there's no word yet if and when Young might join them.
“I rolled it pretty bad,” Young said after the game, via NBA.com. “It hurts pretty bad right now, but that’s to be expected. I’m getting treatment on it and iced it already.”
This isn’t the first time that Young has dealt with this particular injury this season. He previously missed a game on Oct. 31 against the Miami Heat with an ankle sprain; luckily a quirk in the schedule only gave the Hawks one game in a week, which prevented him from missing more time.
If the extent of the injury is similar, Young may not miss much time, but he and the team did not have much to share in the immediate aftermath.
“It was bad the first time, but the pain was bad this time as well,” Young said. "It hurt really bad, it happened, but I don't really know a comparison.”
What does this mean for the Hawks’ season?
Young is not expected to miss serious time, and the Hawks have long been out of contention this season, but it’s yet another frustrating moment in what should have been an upstart season for the young Hawks.
Collins was suspended 25 games for violating the league’s anti-doping policy, and he only had one game back with the Hawks before Young went down with this injury. They’re still both foundational pieces for the Hawks’ rebuild, but they could always use more time together to gel.
Atlanta owns the worst record in the NBA by two games at 6-26 and is headed for another top lottery pick the way things are looking. Making sure Young stays healthy will be paramount to any future plans.
Young is fourth in the league in scoring (28.5 ppg) and fifth in assists (8.3 apg), even if his defense leaves much to be desired.
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