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Hawks G Hinrich close to returning from surgery

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ATLANTA (AP)

Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich, who has missed the first 17 games of the season while recovering from left shoulder surgery, said Saturday he hopes to play during Atlanta's upcoming five-game trip.

Hinrich had surgery in November and he is trying to beat his projected recovery time of three to four months. He said before Saturday night's game he will be with the Hawks on their road trip which begins Monday at Milwaukee.

''I hope I'll be playing sometime on this trip,'' he said.

Hinrich started in 22 of his 24 games with Atlanta last season after he was traded to the Hawks from Washington. He averaged 10.2 points and 4.0 assists overall.

''I can't wait to see him in a Hawks uniform again,'' said coach Larry Drew after Saturday night's 121-94 win over Cleveland.

''I do understand he is close. That's good news.''

Jeff Teague has taken over as Atlanta's starting point guard.

Meanwhile, Dr. Xavier Duralde, who performed the surgery this week to repair center Al Horford's torn left pectoral muscle, said Saturday the All-Star is progressing well in his recovery.

Horford was injured going for a rebound in a Jan. 11 game at Indiana. He is expected to be out three to four months and could miss the remainder of the regular season.

Duralde checked Horford on Saturday and said the center can begin strengthening work in six weeks.

Duralde said the incision is in Horford's left arm pit.

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Associated Press freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd contributed to this report.

Tagged: Hawks, Kirk Hinrich, Al Horford

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