UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 19 at 5:33 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
The Atlanta Hawks announced on Twitter on Saturday that Williams will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL:
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According to the Hawks' official team Twitter, the injury has initially been diagnosed as a right knee sprain. He'll undergo further tests when the team arrives back in Atlanta tonight:
Team officials say the initial diagnosis is a right knee sprain for Lou. He will be tested further tonight and when the team comes home.— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 19, 2013
If deemed serious, the loss couldn't come at a worse time for the Hawks. After storming to a 19-9 start out of the gate, Atlanta has lost eight of their past 11 games, including a brutal 1-6 stretch in the middle of this month.
Williams, who finished second behind James Harden in voting for last year's Sixth Man of the Year Award, has been a vital cog for the Hawks during his first season in Atlanta. Despite playing primarily off the bench, he ranks fourth on the team with 29.2 minutes per game, third with 14.5 points per game and third with a PER of 16.8.
Should he have to miss an extended period of time, he'll be sorely missed for a myriad of reasons. More than anything though, the Hawks—who average a subpar 95.8 points per game—will miss his explosive ability to put the ball in the hoop. Even with only nine starts on the season, he's scored 20-plus points eight different times.
In his potential absence, underachieving starter Devin Harris will likely receive a slight uptick in minutes, and need to improve his output. The same can be said for slightly more stable youngster Jeff Teague. The loss might also yield some extra minutes for rookie sharpshooter John Jenkins, who's made 47 percent of his three-pointers.
Stay tuned for any and all updates as soon as they come in.