Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha expected to miss 6-8 weeks with calf strain
The Atlanta Hawks' excellent bench suffered a blow on Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, as reserve wing Thabo Sefolosha was diagnosed with a right calf strain. An MRI confirmed the injury and the 10th-year veteran is expected to miss six to eight weeks while recovering.
Sefolosha has stepped into an important role off the bench for coach Mike Budenholzer's team after being acquired via a sign-and-trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder this past offseason, playing 19 minutes per game while spelling starters Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll.
He's started seven games for the Hawks, including Friday night against Portland in place of the injured Carroll.
Sefolosha is averaging 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season. Though his shooting percentages have not rebounded from down year last season with the Thunder, he's helped plenty on the other end of the floor, tying a career-best defensive rating (99), albeit in relatively limited playing time.
The Hawks own the NBA's best record (39-8) entering Saturday night's slate of games, in part because of the strong bench play from backup wings like Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore and Mike Scott. Sefolosha joins Carroll (Achilles strain) and reserve guard Shelvin Mack (calf strain) on the team's injury list.