Lou Williams will be a limited participant when the Hawks open training camp Tuesday. The veteran guard, returning from a torn ACL in his right knee, has only been cleared for non-contact drills. That means Williams likely won’t be ready for the start of the regular season.
“I would hope sooner rather than later,” Williams said of when he will be ready for game action. “I feel good so far in the process.”
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said there is no timetable for Williams’ return. He won’t participate in five-on-five drills when practice begins at the Coliseum Training Facility on the campus of the University of Georgia. He said Williams won’t be cleared for the “foreseeable future.”
Williams’ 2012-13 season ended after just 39 games when he tore the ACL on Jan. 18 against Brooklyn. Such an injury typically takes nine months to a year to heal.
Asked about the last hurdle in his rehabilitation, Williams said: “The contact aspect and making sure the leg is strong enough to endure that kind of contact consistently. It’s one thing to go out there and play and you can only play in one game and you have to sit five. We have to continue to strengthen the leg, strengthen the knee to the point where I can take consistent contact.”
Budenholzer on DUI: Budenholzer spoke publicly for the first time since his summer arrest for DUI at Monday’s media day event kicking off training camp. He took two questions about the incident of Aug. 29 but provided little information.
“I never want to bring any negative attention to our team or our players,” Budenholzer said when asked about the organization’s commitment to bringing in quality people on and off the court. “Having said that, there is a legal process that is playing out. I think it’s important for me to respect that process.
“I can’t say a whole lot more than that. As far as our players, I have communicated with all of them and the support and communication with them has been excellent. I’m just going to leave it at that.”
Budenholzer has a court hearing scheduled for Oct. 15. He does not need to be present at the hearing.
Injury report: John Jenkins missed the past two months of workouts after it was discovered he had a ligament tear in his back. The injury caused some fluid build-up and a bulging disk.
Jenkins said the injury was discovered after he returned from the Las Vegas Summer League in July. He declared himself at 100 percent on the eve of camp.
“I wasn’t hurt that bad,” Jenkins said. “I fought through it. I thought it was just a tight muscle. After summer league, I got it checked out. …
“I played on it when I probably shouldn’t have. I had to pay for it by sitting out two months. It was actually good for my whole body to be able to rest and it turned out to be a blessing.”
Entering his second year, Jenkins will be counted on as part of the rotation at shooting guard.
Jeff Teague suffered a sprained right wrist after he took a fall during a recent pick-up game. He is not expected to miss any training camp time.
A lighter Scott: Mike Scott reported to training camp 15 pounds lighter, down from the listed 237 pounds of last season. Scott, entering his second year, said the difference was his diet. No more fast food. No more doughnuts.
“It was just eating better, trying to become more agile, more versatile, more explosive and quicker. So I had to take care of my eating habits,” Scott said.