Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 4/24/12

Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford suffered a gruesome shoulder injury back in January that had him expected to be sidelined for the next three to four months. May 12th would've been about four months too, but it looks like he'll be back sooner than that. After first telling Yahoo! Sports Marc Spears yesterday morning that he did not expect to play in the upcoming playoffs, he later hit Marc back up on his cell to say that he had changed his mind I guess.

This from Marc Spears' latest Sullia account update:

Al Horford changes mind telling Yahoo! he will return to action in limited fashion 4/26 vs DAL after doc meeting. The Hawks forward-center told Y! Sports in the morning he didn't expect to return from the postseason due to pectoral injury suffered earlier this season. But doctor told him some pectoral weakness is normal and not to be fearful of it, which led Horford to changing his mind and becoming more confident for return. He will play about 15 minutes per game in 1st round.

The Atlanta Hawks will in all likelihood play the Boston Celtics in that first round match-up. I'm not sure if that's mathematically set as of this morning technically, but it doesn't appear possible the Orlando Magic catch the Hawks for that 5th seed ATL currently possesses. Atlanta is only one game out of 4th, but even if they pass Boston they still play them in the 4-5 match-up anyways. So what does it mean for that series if Horford does play those 15 minutes per game for Atlanta?  Probably not enough for his Hawks to win I don't think, but it certainly doesn't hurt their chances.

Hopefully for the Hawks sake Horford doesn't change his mind again though before the playoffs end up starting. Definitely good to hear he's almost all the way back to full strength however. The NBA can always use another All Star Center, and Al is certainly that.

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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