The Atlanta Hawks are currently locked in a 1-1 series with the Philadelphia 76ers after swiping Game 1 in Philly before dropping Game 2. As they head back to Atlanta for their first home games of the series, the Hawks received some unfortunate news regarding one of their young stars.
De’Andre Hunter has not played in either of the first two games against the Sixers, as he was listed out for both games with right knee soreness, but on Wednesday the team offered a new update that, unfortunately, brought word of a small tear in his meniscus that will require surgery and end his season.
The initial review revealed a new small tear of the lateral meniscus. Films from the MRI were sent to Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles for a second opinion, who earlier today confirmed the tear and recommended surgery. Hunter is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles this weekend and undergo surgery to the lateral meniscus on Tuesday with Dr. ElAttrache. He will miss the remainder of the postseason and future updates will be provided as appropriate.
The Hawks have started Solomon Hill in place of Hunter in both games so far, with Kevin Huerter taking a bigger role and playing well off the bench. Huerter, Hill, and Danilo Gallinari all become far more important in this series without Hunter, who is the Hawks best wing defender and spent much of the Knicks series hounding Julius Randle. Without Hunter, Nate McMillan often has to choose between having more offense or more defense on the court with his wing rotation, and it’s an unfortunate loss for one of the league’s best surprises this postseason.