While Al Horford's recovery from a mid-season pectoral injury has gone about as well as could be expected, it won't be quick enough for the Hawks All-Star C to return for their first-round series against the Boston Celtics:
#Hawks C @Al_Horford (pectoral) says he's out for 1st round vs. #Celtics. Hopes to play in 2nd round.— Michael Cunningham (@ajchawks) April 25, 2012
Atlanta has survived his absence in the regular season, but his presence would have been huge against Boston in the first round, especially given how undersized the Celtics are at that position.
Without Horford, the Hawks will be watching Zaza Pachulia's return from a sprained foot ligament closely, as Atlanta is now down to third-string center Jason Collins.
The good news is, with Kevin Garnett playing out of position at the 5 for Boston, the Hawks may be able to get away with small-ball line-ups featuring Josh Smith in the middle in the first round.
For all the latest news and notes on the Hawks playoff run, head on over to Peachtree Hoops.