Clint Capela, then with the Rockets, yells after dunking the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Photo: Craig Lassig/AP
Photo: Craig Lassig/AP

Hawks’ Clint Capela doing more running/movement drills in practice

Clint Capela has still not progressed to doing any contact work or basketball activity. 

But Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce had a little good news Wednesday, in that the Hawks’ new center has made progress in terms of running and movement -- he has started doing more sprints and slides at practice, testing his right foot out a little more as he comes back from plantar fasciitis and a right calcaneus contusion. 

The plan is still to re-evaluate Capela March 4. He’ll be out for a while longer, with Pierce adding he’d be surprised if Capela returns for the Hawks’ games in Washington March 6 and in Memphis March 7. Pierce had originally guessed Capela would miss 7-10 games coming out of the All-Star break (the Hawks’ 11th post-All Star break game is a home game vs. the Knicks March 11), but there’s no way to exactly determine how quickly Capela will rehab, which informs the timetable of his return.

“It probably will be 15 (games) or less, after this weekend and next weekend’s over with,” Pierce said.

Given how stop-and-start this pesky right heel injury was while Capela was with the Rockets, the Hawks won’t bring him back until he’s 100%. 

“He felt he came back too soon, and re-injured it, now he’s being cautious,” Pierce said. “He thought it was a setback when he re-injured it as opposed to just coming back and taking his time and letting it completely heal.” 

With Houston, Capela missed two games in late December, returned to the court and played four games, then missed another game in early January, coming back to play seven games in a row before sitting out again Jan. 27. 

He came back briefly on Jan. 29, then missed three consecutive games before the Hawks acquired him in a trade-deadline deal. 

No matter the level of anticipation, no matter how much the Hawks could use his size and skill as they try to finish the season strong, Capela getting back to full strength is the main focus.

“For us, it’s really about him being healthy, and not stealing games or stealing moments where you see him on the court,” Pierce said. “I would love to have him on the court, but I would like to have him healthy even more as we move forward.”

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