Hawks’ Collins to miss final exhibition, raises concern for opener


John Collins will miss the remainder of the exhibition season as he battles left ankle soreness. The issue raises the concern that the Hawks’ second-year forward could miss the start of the regular season.

After playing in the preseason opener, Collins did not play in the second half against the Grizzlies on Friday. He missed the next two games, including Wednesday’s game against the Spurs. Before the contest, Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said his young star would miss the final game as well.

“He’s obviously got something going with the ankle,” Pierce said. “I’m not smart enough to know the terms. I just know it’s an ankle concern. He will be out. He won’t play either of the two (remaining) preseason games. Just trying to get him ready.”

Vince Carter started at power forward in place of Collins Wednesday.

The Hawks final exhibition game is Friday at the Heat.

The Hawks open the season on a three-game road trip that begins at the Knicks next Wednesday.

In his one-plus games this preseason, Collins averaged 11.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Last season, Collins was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocks.


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