HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Hawks All-Star and captain Joe Johnson will miss the next four to six weeks recovering from right elbow surgery, the Hawks announced before Wednesday’s game against the Hang Time Grizzlies at Philips Arena.
Johnson had an MRI Tuesday afternoon and visited with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham earlier this morning and it was determined that Johnson had “loose body” in the elbow. He’ll have the arthroscopic procedure in the “next few days,” a procedure Andrews will perform.
The injury helps explains the curious start to Johnson’s season. He’s shooting a career-low 41 percent from the floor and averaging just 17.1 points, his lowest totals in both categories since joining the Hawks before the start of the 2005-06 season.
Johnson is still the Hawks’ leading scorer, so his loss will be a major blow for a team that has two other captains (Al Hoford and Josh Smith) playing at an All-Star level. They also have the reigning Sixth Man Award winner in Jamal Crawford to turn to in a pinch, though veteran swingman Mo Evans started in Johnson’s place Thursday night.
Johnson signed the biggest deal ($124 million) of the famed Free Agent Summer of 2010. Hawks fans wondered what their team might look like without him before he signed that deal. They’ll have at least to month see exactly what it looks like now.