Injured Hawks Return To Practice Ahead of Road Trip

Ben Ladner

The Hawks are slowly inching toward full health, even if they remain far from it. Thursday was a step in the right direction as Clint Capela, DeAndre' Bembry, and Skal Labissière ramped up their activity levels while Cam Reddish and Dewayne Dedmon fully participated in the team practice. 

Dedmon has missed the last four games with right elbow soreness, but the Hawks seem to firmly believe that he will play tomorrow night against the Wizards. Reddish was held out of Monday's loss with lower back soreness, but Lloyd Pierce said that the rookie looked and felt good on Thursday and should be ready to play tomorrow. 

"I think he’ll be good to go," Pierce said. "You’re always worried when it’s lower back stuff, but he says he feels great. He had his bounce and his pop back today." 

Capela is still at least two weeks away from playing in games, but he has been working out with increasing intensity over the last few weeks and could be available as early as March 20 (though that would be a best-case scenario). He has progressed to impact activities, which mostly include conditioning drills and close-range shooting, but Capela did some light shooting on Thursday afternoon as well: 

The Swiss big man addressed the media for the first time since his introductory press conference in early February and said that he has felt progressively better and that he hopes to return to the court this season. The Hawks are being cautious with his return, but Capela wants to help the team as soon as possible. 

"I’m a basketball player, so I’m on the bench pulling for my guys," he said. "But of course I want to be out there with them, go to war with them."  

Labissière did not speak with the media, but Pierce said the 23-year-old has been doing more skill work and basketball-specific activity than Capela has in recent days. Like Capela, Labissière will be re-evaluated in two weeks. 

Bembry was recently cleared for non-contact activity as he works his way back from what has been characterized as abdominal pain. He was active for two games after recovering from neuritis in his hand, but went right back on the shelf after Atlanta's win over the Heat after the All-Star break. 

Bembry described it as a groin injury on Thursday rather than an abdominal one, and said he isn't quite sure what caused it. "First day back, we worked out, and then the next day I just started feeling a groin injury," he said. "I’m not really sure where it came from, but definitely just wanted to take care of that."  

Bembry hasn't played since January 20, and his status will be updated as necessary until he's cleared to play. 

"I’ve been through this process before where you’re injured and just trying to stay on your body and stay in shape," he said. "That’s really the hardest thing. So really just losing a little bit of stamina, but other than that I’ve been great. Been working out, getting treatment and everything, so I feel a lot better than where I was."