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Josh Smith Injury: Sprained MCL Forces Smith Out Of Nuggets Game

With Kirk Hinrich already sidelined, the Atlanta Hawks took another hit as Josh Smith won't return for the second half against the Nuggets after suffering an MCL injury to his right knee. The injury occurred on a drive by Denver's J.R. Smith. It appeared that Smith was inadvertently kicked in the knee on the play. Zaza Pachulia replaced Smith in the Hawks lineup at the start of the third quarter. 

Smith was leading the Hawks with ten points and five rebounds at the half going 4-7 from the field. Al Horford will now shift over to the power forward position with Pachulia handling the center position. 

The road weary Hawks can ill-afford to lose Smith for any significant amount of time. Atlanta is currently 3-3 on their current seven game road trip. With a win tonight in Denver, the Hawks would return home with a ton of confidence after the road trip got off to such a poor start. After tonight, Atlanta returns home to face Chicago on Wednesday for the first of three meetings. 

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.