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Joe Johnson Pulls Out Of All-Star Game

The Hawks All-Star will take the weekend off to rest his sore knee and get ready for the second half of the season.

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:

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.

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