Perhaps this is to be expected considering this is Al Horford’s first major injury. Or maybe it’s all part of some gamesmanship from Horford and the Hawks, who would rather the Celtics not have too much info about his progress.
But to judge by Horford’s comments over the past few days, he’s conflicted about if and when he can play in the postseason.
Last Thursday Horford told Chris Vivlamore he was “frustrated” by the pace of his progress and that he’s “not where I need to be.” By yesterday, Horford was telling Jeff Schultz that there’s a 70 percent chance he would play against the Celtics, saying: “I don’t know if it’s the smartest thing for me physically but I want to be out there and I feel like it’s realistic.”
Now today Horford told Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports that it’s actually not realistic that he can play in the postseason, saying: “[A]s of right now the way I feel I think I am out for the playoffs.” But he even hedged that statement by suggesting he could play if the Hawks advance past the first round.
(UPDATE: Now Horford tells Spears that not only will he be ready for the playoffs, he plans to play in Thursday’s regular-season finale against Dallas. Like I said, we may not know if Horford will play until he actually takes the court or the season ends and he hasn’t played.)
Maybe all of this uncertainty is why Larry Drew has consistently played down the possibility of Horford returning.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed but we are not totally counting on him,” Drew said yesterday. “We don’t want to have wishful thinking. When they told us about the surgery, that the probability [of return] would be very slim, at that point made our mind up we would not get him back.”
It looks like we may not know for sure until Horford actually takes the court or the playoffs end with Horford still on the sidelines.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat