Thabo Sefolosha will miss his sixth consecutive game with a left groin injury, but the Hawks remain hopeful that the starting forward will return before the All-Star break next week.
The Hawks are trying a new approach to get Sefolosha back in the lineup, according to coach Mike Budenholzer. It could involve missing more games.
“Every game or every day we were ramping him up and seeing if he could get ready and if he would be available,” Budenholzer said Wednesday before the Hawks hosted the Nuggets. “I think we are backing off how much we ramp him up and maybe say let’s take a few days and a few games and see if the less workload and less ramp-up can that get him to where he is ready to go here shortly.”
After the Hawks play the Nuggets, the team has a three-game west coast trip to play the Kings on Friday, the Trail Blazers on Monday and the Clippers next Wednesday. Following the final game of the trip, the Hawks are off until Feb. 24, an eight-game respite. The rest could be in a factor in getting Sefolosha back.
“I would say we are hopeful of him playing before the All-Star break,” Budenholzer said. “But that’s, obviously, on the back burner. If we have to go that long then you do have that 7-10 day break to add on to it.”
Sefolosha suffered the injury against the Bulls on Jan. 25. He played the next game two days later against the Wizards. Sefolosha has admitted it was likely a mistake to try to play right away. He lasted only 16 minutes and has not played since.
Tim Hardaway Jr. again will start in place of Sefolosha.