Click here to Skip to main content

Elbow injury sidelines Hawks' Johnson 4-6 weeks

Posted Dec 1 2010 10:29PM

ATLANTA (AP) -- Hawks star Joe Johnson will be sidelined four to six weeks with an injured right elbow.

Atlanta announced at the start of Wednesday night's game against Memphis that Johnson will need arthroscopic surgery to remove a "loose body" in the elbow.

Johnson visited orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Alabama on Wednesday morning. The Hawks said Andrews will perform the surgery on the four-time All-Star on Thursday in Pensacola, Fla.

Johnson said the elbow has caused discomfort "off and on" this season.

"It just got unbearable yesterday," Johnson told The Associated Press at halftime.

Johnson returned from Birmingham shortly before the start of the game and wore a suit as he watched from the bench.

Hawks coach Larry Drew said Johnson "could not extend his arm" at Tuesday's practice.

"This is clearly something that has to be addressed," Drew said before the game.

Maurice Evans replaced Johnson in the starting lineup against Memphis.

Johnson has been held under double figures in two of the last five games. He averages a team-best 17.1 points but has made only 40.9 percent of his shots.

He signed a six-year deal worth almost $124 million before the season. He has scored more than 20 points per game in each of his first five seasons with the team.

Johnson's injury will have ramifications throughout the lineup.

Jamal Crawford, the NBA's Sixth Man of the year last season, plays behind Johnson at shooting guard. Crawford averaged 18 points despite not starting last season and is averaging 13.9 points this season.

The Hawks also will rely more on Al Horford and Josh Smith, the team's second- and third-leading scorers, respectively.

Evans, respected for his defense and all-around skills, has not been a big scorer. He is averaging 4.7 points and has scored in double figures only once this season. He missed eight games with a right knee injury.

Even before the plan for the surgery was announced, Drew was prepared for the possibility Johnson could miss a significant amount of time.

"This is clearly something that we have to allow to happen, whatever has to happen," Drew said.

In his first year as coach, Drew has installed a motion offense designed to generate more balanced scoring. Five players are scoring in double figures, followed closely by starting small forward Marvin Williams at 9.3 points per game.

photoBarton Denies Young
Will Barton comes up with a big block on Thaddeus Young under the rim.
photoHorford Powers To The Hoop
Al Horford blows by defender and hits the layup despite being fouled.
photoNets in Transition
Brook Lopez starts the break and Thaddeus Young finishes off the give-and-go with Joe Johnson.
photoShumpert Finishes The Break
Kyrie Irving leads the break, throws the underhand, shovel pass to Iman Shumpert and Shumpert finishes with the left-handed slam.
photoBallow on Knicks
Jonah Ballow from joins Game Time to discuss the Knicks' coaching status following the firing of Derek Fisher.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.