Atlanta Hawks star small forward Josh Smith was absent during yesterday’s practice, and this was a word of caution regarding Smith’s ability to play on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers. J-Smoove sprained his right ankle in Sunday’s loss to the Pacers, but he played through the pain and managed to finish with 15 points, eight rebounds, and four assists despite the injury. Smith was still expected to play on Wednesday despite missing practice, because it seemed like he was always going to miss practice anyway- the Hawks most likely value Smith’s health and rest more than whether or not he practices a day after being injured.
It certainly seems like that was the Hawks mentality, because Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Josh Smith returned to the Hawks for practice today. Smith will almost certainly play in Game 2 of the series tomorrow, and the 27-year-old did an honorable job playing through a sprained ankle on Sunday. He has a few days of rest between Games 1 and 2, so his ankle should feel better by then.
This is definitely encouraging news, because Smith is right back in the swing of things practicing just a couple of days after the injury. He will continue to fill up the stat sheet and should be in-line for a solid Game 2 against the Pacers, but Smith will be looking for a more efficient line and around 17 points on Wednesday.