Starting Hawks small forward De’Andre Hunter has injured a tendon in his right wrist that will require surgery, per a team press release. The 6’8″ wing will undergo a procedure on Monday. Hunter will be sidelined for at least eight weeks while he recuperates, according to the team.
Hunter suffered the injury in a November 8 loss to the Warriors and a subsequent MRI determined the severity. Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution adds (Twitter link) that this means Hunter will now be available, at the earliest, during the second week of January. The 5-9 Hawks need all the help they can get.
In the absence of Hunter today against the Bucks, the Hawks elevated recently-extended swingman Kevin Huerter to the starting small forward slot. Atlanta beat Milwaukee 120-100. Wing Cam Reddish and forward Danilo Gallinari should also play increased roles with Hunter on the shelf.
As our JD Shaw notes (via Twitter), the injury-prone Hunter was also limited to just 23 of 72 contests during the 2020/21 season, and missed most of the Hawks’ Eastern Conference Finals playoff run.
The fourth pick in the 2019 draft out of Virginia, Hunter is averaging 10.8 PPG and 2.7 RPG through 11 games this season, on .450/.395/.400 shooting. That free throw percentage is not a typo.