The “Atlanta Journal-Constitution” reported on Wednesday that Atlanta Hawks veteran guard Joe Johnson will not be playing this Sunday in the 2012 NBA All-Star game that will be held in Orlando’s Amway Arena, due to a flare-up of tendinitis in his left knee. Johnson will be on the bench as the Hawks play their last two games before the break; Wednesday night as they take on the New York Knicks as well as Thursday when they welcome the Magic to Phillips Arena. The veteran underwent an MRI on Tuesday which showed that the knee had no structural damage and he will be reevaluated on February 29.
The Hawks star was selected as a reserve for what would have been his sixth appearance in the showcase for the Association. The NBA has not announced when they will choose a replacement to take Johnson’s spot on the Eastern Conference roster. The 30-year-old guard has helped Atlanta to a record of 19-13 going into Wednesday night’s contest, even with center Al Horford playing in just 11 games this season after getting injured early in the campaign. Johnson has averaged 17.6 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest this season.
Atlanta bench boss Larry Drew told reporters that he was thankful that the MRI did not show worse news, but stressed that it will take some time before he gets his starting shooting guard back on the court. Drew said “It is just tendinitis. From that standpoint, it’s just going to be on feel, how he feels with treatment and therapy. … For us, it’s important that he gets well to where it settles down from a pain standpoint. It’s just one of those things where you have to allow the knee to rest to where it is not getting the constant pounding.”