Hawks' Clint Capela Reportedly out at Least 1 Week After MRI on Knee Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 16, 2022

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 15: Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on April 15, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images)
Rick Osentoski/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs with Friday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament, but it reportedly came at a cost.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday that big man Clint Capela suffered a right knee injury that will need to be reevaluated in a week. While the MRI showed no structural damage, this injury could sideline him for the entire first-round series against the Miami Heat, depending on how many games it goes.

Capela played just 13 minutes in the 107-101 victory over Cleveland before the injury and finished with seven points and eight rebounds.

While Trae Young took over down the stretch and still led the Hawks to the win, another injury to the frontcourt is a concern since John Collins is still out with finger and foot injuries.

Collins played just four games since Feb. 11 and played more than 25 minutes just once in that span.

If Collins remains sidelined and Capela does not return for the series against the Heat, dealing with Miami big man Bam Adebayo will be all the more difficult. Atlanta will likely rely more on the combination of Danilo Gallinari, Onyeka Okongwu and perhaps Gorgui Dieng in the frontcourt in the meantime.

When healthy, Capela is a double-double threat who averaged 11.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per night this season while shooting 61.3 percent from the field.

He is often on the receiving end of Young's lobs, especially when opposing defenses collapse on the guard's penetration and create openings. His absence could allow the Heat to focus even more attention on Young throughout the series.

Game 1 of the first-round series is set for Sunday in Miami at 1 p.m. ET.