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Hawks Pair Notch Career-Firsts in Return from Injury

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young has hand wrapped in return from injury

On Wednesday night, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young made his long-awaited return to the court as the Hawks faced the Charlotte Hornets. The three-time All-Star was sidelined for six weeks as he recovered from finger surgery.

Playing on a minutes restriction, Young finished the contest with 14 points on 5-5 shooting, 11 assists and one steal in 20 minutes. It was his first career game without a miss. However, afterward, all Young was focused on were his turnovers, as he finished with five.

To that point, the most important assessment of Young yesterday wasn’t about his play. It was how he felt after the game. Of course, it’s nice that he got off on the right foot.

Nonetheless, it’s even more comforting if he and the Hawks aren’t concerned about lingering issues.

Young appeared a bit apprehensive about using his left hand early on. With that said, there’s still a wrap on his fingers. Consequently, he may have been getting used to playing with the wrap as much as using his hand again.

Despite the loss, the night was a success for Young.

First Career Points

Another player had a special night on Wednesday, as Hawks rookie Mouhamed Gueye scored his first career points.

Gueye was selected by the Hawks with the 39th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft out of Washington State. The Cougars have produced several NBA talents, including Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson. Ironically, Gueye’s first basket was a catch-and-shoot 3 from above the break.

Though the 6-foot-11 big man isn’t a Splash Brother, he made a big splash with his play in the Summer League. Turning heads in Atlanta with his skill, length, and athleticism, Gueye has shown real promise since being drafted. Injuries have limited his potential impact this season, as Wednesday was his first game playing more than three minutes.

However, the 21-year-old believes he knows how to take care of his body better now that he’s sustained significant injuries for the first time.

“If you’re not injured you really don’t know how to take care of your body,” Gueye says, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Lauren Williams.

“That’s what I learned — taking care of my body, icing every day, being disciplined. Not just doing it because you feel like it but do it every day because it’s gonna pay off. And honestly just listening to guys like Ekpe (Udoh). He went through it his rookie year too like, just be patient and your time will come.”

Gueye finished Wednesday’s game with three points (1-3 from the field), seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in 17 minutes.


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