CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 03: Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks moves against Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 3, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Al Horford Injury: Hawks' Center To Miss First Round Of NBA Playoffs

Al Horford, the Atlanta Hawks' all-star center, said he will not recover from a torn pectoral muscle in time to play in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

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Al Horford Warming Up, 'Game-Time Decision' For Game 4

Though he had previously said he would miss all of the first round, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford is warming up before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first round against the Boston Celtics.

Horford has missed almost the entire 2011-2012 NBA season with a torn pectoral muscle, but the Hawks could use anyone with size at this point. Josh Smith missed the end of Game 2 and all of Game 3 — both Hawks losses — with a knee injury, and Horford's backup, Zaza Pachulia, is out for the series, meaning Jason Collins and Ivan Johnson are the only players on the active roster with any size and game experience.

There's no word yet on whether Horford will play, but he's on the active roster, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, meaning, even if he's not originally intended to get any minutes, he can go in case of emergency. How many minutes he'll get if he goes is up in the air, but it's hard to imagine him playing even close to 30.

The Hawks are down 2-1 to the Celtics, and they tip off in Atlanta at 7 p.m. ET.

For more on the Celtics, head over to CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Hawks, check out Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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Al Horford Injury Update: Hawks' Big Man Says He'll Miss First Round Of 2012 NBA Playoffs

Atlanta Hawks big man Al Horford has wavered on whether his torn pectoral muscle in his shoulder would heal in time for him to return for the 2012 NBA Playoffs, but now, he has made a definitive public statement on the matter. The Hawks' All-Star center said he will miss the team's first-round NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics and hopes to return if the Hawks advance to the second round.

One previous report suggested Horford would return for the playoffs, but that is not realistic, as Horford himself has admitted he's frustrated by the slow progress on his recovery. Horford suffered the shoulder injury on January 11, and it was speculated that his recovery time would be 3-4 months.

Without Horford, the Hawks will have to rely on Zaza Pachulia and Jason Collins against the Celtics. Pachulia is dealing with his own injury, a sprained foot ligament.

For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta.

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