Hawks clear star Trae Young to return to practice after finger injury ahead of play-in tournament

The Hawks currently sit 10th in the Eastern Conference standings and would take on the Bulls in the play-in tournament next week

Trae Young is nearly ready to make his return.

The Atlanta Hawks officially cleared Young to return to practice Monday, about six weeks after he underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left hand. While it’s unclear when Young will officially make his return to the court, the announcement comes about a week out from the NBA’s play-in tournament.

Young injured his left hand in a loss to the Toronto Raptors in February. An MRI the next day revealed that he tore a ligament in his pinkie finger, which led him to surgery just days later. The team expected Young to miss at least four weeks.

Young has averaged a team-high 26.4 points and 10.8 assists in 51 games this season, his sixth in the league. The 25-year-old picked up his third All-Star nod this season as an injury replacement, too.

Trae Young headshot
Trae Young
PG - ATL - #11
2023 - 2024 season

Without Young, the Hawks have gone 12-10 over the past six weeks headed into Tuesday’s matchup with the Miami Heat. They hold a 36-42 record, and they’ve already clinched a playoff berth, but they sit 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. That will have the Hawks matching up with the Bulls in the play-in tournament next week in Chicago, though the Hawks are just a single game back of ninth place.

With four games left in the regular season, the Hawks can still overtake the Bulls in the standings, especially if Young is back for the final few games. If he’s out until the play-in tournament, though, the Hawks will likely have the toughest road to a playoff spot in the East.