Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson sustained a wrist injury during Saturday’s game against the Washington Wizards, leading to a projected absence of 4-6 weeks, as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Despite attempting to continue playing after the injury, Johnson’s determination couldn’t prevent his exit from the game.
Fortunately, initial assessments revealed no wrist fracture, negating the need for surgical intervention. While his absence will be substantial, the outcome is seen as a positive considering the potential severity of the injury.
This season marked Johnson’s breakthrough in the NBA after being the 20th pick in the 2021 draft. While he hadn’t been a significant contributor in his first two seasons, he emerged this year, averaging 14.1 points while showcasing robust defensive skills for the Hawks, who created opportunities for him after trading John Collins.
Johnson’s stellar performance had quietly positioned him as a contender for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Unfortunately, this injury might sideline him enough to fall short of the required minimum of 65 games for the award. Nevertheless, the Hawks’ primary concern remains getting him back on the court, making his eventual return a positive development for Atlanta.