Hawks guard Trae Young suffered a foot injury when he took a step back in Game 3 and ended up landing on an official’s foot, coming down awkwardly.
At the time, the Hawks classified it as a right ankle sprain, though they got more clarity after getting a closer look with an MRI taken Monday. Young has a bone bruise in his right foot and will be listed as questionable for Tuesday’s Game 4 against the Bucks.
He does not have ankle sprain, however, in some positive news. But, bone bruises are tricky, and this comes at an extremely difficult time for both Young and the Hawks, who are trailing the Bucks 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals. Young has had a sensational first playoff run, leading the Hawks to drastically exceed their preseason goal of simply making the playoffs, and was rolling in Game 3 before the injury limited him down the stretch.
On how Young’s spirits are doing Monday, teammate John Collins said: “He’s OK. Obviously not happy about the loss, not happy about stepping on somebody’s foot. He’s in an OK spot for what’s going on, and I feel like he just wants to move on and get ready for next game.”
After Sunday’s loss, Young said the plan is to get as much treatment as possible ahead of Tuesday’s Game 4 (another home game) so he’ll be able to play, and he received treatment Monday at practice, per McMillan.
The Hawks had a “get what you need” day Monday, where players can receive treatment, massages, or get some shots up — basically, whatever will allow their bodies to be ready to go for the next game. At this point, it’s too soon to say if Young will play in Game 4, or if he’ll participate but in a limited capacity.
“He’s getting treatment, so I’m sure he’s still a little sore from last night, and he has 24 hours to recover, get the necessary treatment and get ready for (Tuesday),” McMillan said earlier Monday. “... I’ll wait until tomorrow to find out where Trae is at, how he feels and if he can go. If they give me the OK that he can go and he won’t injure himself or do any more damage to his body, we’ll put him out there. But all of that, I will get tomorrow.”
Young was able to play some in the fourth quarter, and was seen walking around fine after the game. But, when he went back in the fourth, he didn’t look fully himself, with his typical burst.
It was especially frustrating for Young — since the Hawks were playing well, leading by three, 85-82 — when he was subbed out in the final minute of the third quarter.
“It was really my blow-by speed,” Young said after Game 3, of how he was limited by the ankle injury. “That’s a big part of my game, my ability to blow by anybody. When you’re on the left side and you’re trying to blow by, you’ve got to use your right foot. So my left hand pass to (Bogdan Bogdanovic), I was going down the left side, it was in a lot of pain going back. Like I said, it’s more just the push-off and the blow-by.”
Young was subbed out with about a minute left in the game, and wasn’t able to go back, per McMillan.
“When he came back to the bench, I was told that he was available,” McMillan said after Game 3, of Young walking back to the team bench after first going back to the locker room to get looked at. “Once he got out there, I saw that he wasn’t moving well. When I took him out the last few seconds, he couldn’t go back. I was basically looking to rotate him offense, defense, and he just couldn’t go back.”