(NEW YORK) — Just as the Atlanta Hawks were rounding into shape in the Eastern Conference, they’ve suffered a devastating blow as center Al Horford is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn right pectoral muscle.
Horford suffered the injury last weekend against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He reached for a pass on defense, and was forced to leave the game.
This is not the first time since Horford has suffered this injury. Back in 2012, Horford tore his left pectoral muscle in January, and was able to return three months later for the playoffs.
Even if he comes back at some point this season, the loss of Horford is a big blow to the Hawks on offense and defense. This season, the 27-year-old Horford was averaging 18.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
In seven NBA seasons, all with the Hawks, Horford has been one of the best big men in the NBA with career averages of 14.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Reserves Elton Brand and Pero Antic are expected to see an increase in playing time as long as Horford is out of action.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN