Al Horford Suffers Torn Pectoral Muscle

10:14pm: In a text message to TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link), Horford said he will “probably not” return for the postseason.

5:33pm: Al Horford has suffered a complete tear of his right pectoral muscle, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ken Berger of first reported that the Hawks were concerned that Horford had torn his pectoral muscle.

While it’s not clear yet how long the veteran big man will be sidelined, Horford tore his left pectoral muscle early in January of 2012, and didn’t return to the court until the playoffs, nearly four months later. If we assume a similar recovery period this time around, it seems likely that the 27-year-old will miss most, if not all, of the regular season. For now, the Hawks have announced in a press release that Horford is out indefinitely.

In addition to being terrible news for Horford and the Hawks, the injury further diminishes the level of talent in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta is currently the only team besides the Pacers and Heat above .500 in the East, and looked like the top contender for the No. 3 seed. The Hawks should still have enough talent to earn a playoff spot, but Horford’s injury could affect the club’s plans as February’s trade deadline approaches.

The Hawks have 15 players under contract, but three (Mike Scott, Cartier Martin, and Shelvin Mack) are on non-guaranteed deals, and could be waived if the team wants to add another frontcourt player.

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