Hawks’ Gustavo Ayon (shoulder) to miss 4-to-8 weeks
The Hawks announced Tuesday that reserve forward Gustavo Ayon will be sidelined for up to two months after injuring his right shoulder during Atlanta’s 92-87 loss to Miami in their preseason opener on Monday.
Ayon, 28, underwent an MRI that revealed inflammation and a rotator cuff strain that will require 4-to-8 weeks of rest, treatment and rehabilitation.
The Associated Press reports that Ayon suffered the injury in the first quarter and he did not return, departing with zero points and one rebound in four minutes of action.
Ayon collided with Heat guard Norris Cole late in the opening quarter while chasing a rebound, and got his arm twisted on the play. Ayon first grabbed at his shoulder, then his elbow, and left for the Hawks’ locker room clutching his wrist.
A four-week absence would sideline Ayon for the rest of the preseason and the first five games of the regular season. An eight-week absence would keep him out until early December, causing him to miss roughly 19 games.
Without Ayon, new Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer turned to reserve forward Mike Scott, Pero Antic and James Johnson behind starters Al Horford and Paul Millsap on Monday.
Atlanta marks the fourth team in three seasons for Ayon, who was claimed off of waivers this summer after he was released by Milwaukee. A 6-foot-10 Mexican-born forward, Ayon holds career averages of 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds over two seasons with the Hornets, Magic and Bucks. He was traded from Orlando to Milwaukee along with J.J. Redick at last year’s deadline.
This summer, Ayon was named MVP of the FIBA Americas tournament after he led Mexico to the gold medal.