Hawks starter Ilyasova out 1-2 weeks with knee injury

Hawks starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova will miss at least one to two weeks because of a bone bruise in his left knee, the team announced on Sunday.

Ilyasova said he initially felt pain the knee during a game against the Nets on Oct. 22. He missed the next two games before playing against the Nuggets on Friday.

An MRI performed on the knee Saturday revealed the bone bruise, the Hawks said.

“I felt fine in the beginning of the (Nuggets) game,” Ilyasova said. “The bruised bone on my knee kind of was getting irritated a little bit and I (started) feeling pain. At the end of the game it started getting worse so I checked with the doctor. The main thing is to rest a little bit and see how it’s going to progress.”

Ilysasova is averaging 5.5 points in 24.3 per minutes per game while making just 2 of 14 three-point attempts. But he’s shot 36.5 percent on three-pointers for his career and coach Mike Budenholzer has praised Ilyasova for his defensive impact, which includes a knack for drawing charging fouls. 

Ilysasova’s absence from the lineup leaves the Hawks thin in the frontcourt. 

Mike Muscala started in the two previous games missed by Ilyasova and against the Bucks on Sunday. Ilyasova’s injury also likely means more playing time for Luke Babbitt at power forward. Rookie John Collins has been playing most of his minutes at center but also can play power forward in alignments with Dewayne Dedmon or Muscala at center. 

Center Miles Plumlee remains out with a quadriceps injury he suffered during the first exhibition game. The Hawks said on Oct. 11 he would miss another two to three weeks.

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