Huerter Hoping to Return After Road Trip

Ben Ladner

The Hawks announced earlier this week that Kevin Huerter would not play on the team's three-game road trip with a sprained left shoulder, but Huerter said on the Hawks broadcast Friday night that he is targeting sometime "as early as next week" to return to the court. 

He has ramped up his on-court basketball activity over the last few days since his reevaluation Monday night and appeared to be shooting and dribbling normally at practice on Tuesday. He told Bob Rathbun and Dominique Wilkins on the broadcast that his shoulder feels better by the day. 

"We’re looking at after this road trip," Huerter said. "As early as next week, hopefully.” 

Huerter, who was fouled by Nikola Jokić on the play that injured his shoulder, also described how the injury happened and how he felt when it took place. 

“It was weird," he said. "I was coming off a screen and trying to throw back, but he came down on my arm and right away I felt my shoulder popped out, because I lost all feeling in the arm. … All I knew is I couldn’t move my arm. From around my shoulder it was just a tingling and I had no feeling.” 

His shoulder injury happened just as Huerter seemed to be getting his legs back from a mild knee injury he suffered over the summer. His knee kept him out of the entire preseason and limited him to bench duty early in the regular season, but Huerter said those issues are behind him. 

"Knees are getting back. That was a frustrating process. From the shoulder, I knew the exact moment when I hurt the shoulder. So I knew the shoulder was hurt. There was really never a time that I hurt my knee. And so that was frustrating for me, especially how long I was out for that. But moving forward I don’t expect any problems.” 

Finally, Huerter discussed the state of the Hawks, who have missed his presence badly on the wing. Huerter is perhaps the team's second-best playmaker and shooter behind Young, and his absence has left the team thin on perimeter creation. 

“Especially this stretch we’re going through right now, we’ve really got to find ourselves. It’s kind of wearing down on everybody. Nobody likes to lose, and not being able to be out there during this time is tough because obviously I want to help just to get wins on the board. If we were winning I think it’d be a little bit easier.”