There’s no structural damage in DeMarre Carroll’s left knee after he suffered what had appeared to be a serious injury late in a loss to Cleveland Wednesday night. There is still no certainty when the Hawks’ forward will return to the lineup in the Eastern Conference finals, but the team will list him as “day to day.”
Carroll posted a picture of praying hands on Instagram with the words, “THANK YOU GOD!!!”
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has yet to speak to the media today but Carroll was seen walking into Philips Arena Thursday morning without crutches, so that’s an obvious positive sign.
Carroll suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the Hawks’ Eastern Conference finals series-opening loss to the Cavaliers. Given how he went down, his agonizing reaction and the somber mood around the team, it didn’t seem likely he would play another game in this series.
After the game, Budenholzer gave only a preliminary diagnosis of a “sprained knee, saying Carroll would have an MRI today. The results of that MRI showed no structural damage. But if that was only a sprain, it was the worst sprain I’ve ever seen — and even if it’s only a sprain, with no ligament damage or a dislocation, it still looked serious enough to suggest Carroll won’t return any time soon.
As you’ll see in this replay, Carroll’s knee buckled as he drove to the basket. He was injured before he ever landed.
The site of the injury caused some NBA players to share their thoughts on Twitter. Among them:
Carroll has been the Hawks’ leading scorer in the playoffs. But the biggest loss would be felt on defense because he’s the team’s best defender and guards LeBron James. This follows the loss of the Hawks’ other top defender, Thabo Sefolosha, to a broken leg late in the season in an incident with New York police.
Cleveland is not a team without flaws. I viewed this series as a coin flip coming in. But if Carroll is done, that’s probably too much for the Hawks to overcome.
•Recent ramblings — MyAJC: So many negatives won’t work in this round for Hawks — AJC: Game day: Hawks need Korver to find scoring touch — MyAJC: Is Hawks’ sum greater than one LeBron? — AJC: Odds say Cleveland, but when have odds ever said Hawks? — AJC: Hawks in conference finals — and so is Josh Smith — MyAJC: Mike Budenholzer’s leadership may continue to grow — MyAJC: Hawks finally reach East’s promised land — AJC: Short take: Pierce foiled, Teague finishes strong, Hawks move on — MyAJC: Hawks in East finals would make Atlanta top 10 — MyAJC: Hawks in one win from higher elevation — MyAJC: Hawks come through when it matters most — AJC: Short takes: Horford comes through, Teague bows out — MyAJC: Desperation shouldn’t be Hawks’ prime motivator — MyAJC: Brady, Patriots got what they deserved — AJC: Another lesson for Brady, Patriots: Don’t cheat, don’t lie — MyAJC: Jalen Collins determined to make Falcons’ pick look good — AJC: Wall’s injury shifts odds in Hawks’ favor for game, series — MyAJC: Braves’ McDowell trying to repair some damaged egos