A sore knee that will cost Joe Johnson the last two games before the NBA's All-Star Weekend will also prevent him from playing in the All-Star Game on Sunday:
#Hawks F Joe Johnson to pull out of All-Star game per NBA source with sore knee— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 22, 2012
While there are no indications that the injury is serious, withdrawing from the exhibition game will give Johnson almost a full week to rest and recover, a rare respite amidst the NBA's lockout-compressed 2012 season.
The 6'8 225 guard is averaging 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists on 42.5% shooting this season and he was slated to make his sixth consecutive All-Star appearance.
It's unclear what direction David Stern, who chooses injury replacements for the game, will go in choosing a player to take Johnson's spot.
His absence means Atlanta will not have an All-Star representative and Hawks F Josh Smith was widely seen as one of the biggest snubs when the reserves were selected, but there will be a lot of media and fan pressure to select New York Knicks PG Jeremy Lin.
For the latest news and notes on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops.