After being sidelined by injuries for the past 15 months, Kris Dunn returned to the court Monday in his debut with the Hawks, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Dunn, one of the league’s best perimeter defenders, sprained his MCL in January of 2020, the first of a series of injuries that have kept him out of action. An MRI in November showed cartilage disruption in his knee, and then pain in his right ankle and lower back began in December. He has spent the last four months rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery.
“I just felt like different things just kept happening,” Dunn said. “My initial injury was my knee. I felt like I was on the verge of getting better there, then the ankle situation happened. I felt like I was on the verge of getting better there (with my ankle), then the knee kept (having issues), it was just back and forth trying to get back the alignment right. It was a long process. Every emotion you can think of, I went through during that 15 months. But I have a great support system in the organization, my teammates, the coaching staff, everybody kept belief in me, and deep down inside, I’m going to just keep working. I did, and I’m happy I did it.”
Dunn played 13 minutes Monday night and will remain on a minutes restriction for a while. He signed a two-year deal with the Hawks during the offseason that includes a $5MM player option for next season.
There’s more from Atlanta:
- Kevin Huerter will undergo an MRI today on his sprained left shoulder, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Huerter suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Monday’s loss in Detroit.
- Also injured last night was guard Brandon Goodwin, who left the game with an ankle impingement, Spencer adds (via Twitter). An X-ray taken after the game was negative, and the team said his status will be updated “as appropriate.” Goodwin offered his own update, tweeting, “Ankle good.”
- The return of Bogdan Bogdanovic has helped Nate McMillan turn around the Hawks since taking over for Lloyd Price, writes Kevin Pelton of ESPN (Insider link). In McMillan’s first game as interim coach, Bogdanovic returned from an avulsion fracture in his right knee — since then, he has been on the court for most of the minutes without Trae Young.