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Collins to miss start of Hawks’ season

The Hawks will be without John Collins for at least the first three games of the regular season with a left ankle injury. He is expected to be out at least 10 days.

Collins had an MRI exam Monday that revealed mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle. He underwent a non-surgical procedure that day, described as an injection by a person familiar with the situation. He will be re-evaluated Oct. 22. His status will be updated at that time, according to the team.

The Hawks open the regular season Wednesday at the Knicks, the start of a three-game road trip that includes games at the Grizzlies on Friday (Oct. 19) and at the Cavaliers on Sunday (Oct. 21).

The Hawks home opener is Oct. 24 against the Mavericks.

» More: Highlights of Hawks’ schedule

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Collins, the second-year power forward and expected starter, experienced left ankle soreness that forced him out of the Hawks second exhibition game against the Grizzlies on Oct. 5. He missed the final three exhibition games, including Friday’s preseason finale at the Heat. 

There were indications that Collins could miss the start of the regular season after he missed Wednesday’s exhibition against the Spurs.

“He’s obviously got something going with the ankle,” head coach Lloyd Pierce said before that game. “I’m not smart enough to know the terms. I just know it’s an ankle concern. He will be out. He won’t play either of the two (remaining) preseason games. Just trying to get him ready.”

In his one-plus games this preseason, Collins averaged 11.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Last season, Collins was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 blocks.

In Collins’ absence, the Hawks have started rookie Omari Spellman and veteran Vince Carter at power forward.

The Hawks almost certainly will be without center Dewayne Dedmon (avulsion fracture, left ankle), guard/forward Justin Anderson (rehab from tibial stress syndrome, left leg) and guard/forward Daniel Hamilton (rehab from right rotator cuff tear) for the start of the season. Dedmon is the closest of the three to be cleared. He is return for the season opener was described as “a long shot but possible” by a person familiar with the situation.

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