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DeMarre Carroll out after suffering knee injury

Carroll planted his foot awkwardly and immediately appeared to be in pain, but avoided serious injury.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll left the game on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury late in the fourth quarter. However, an MRI the next day revealed no structural damage, according to USA Today's Jeff Zilgitt. Carroll is day-to-day, which is much better than the alternative of a torn ACL or meniscus.

As Carroll drove to the hoop, he planted his left foot and his knee appeared to buckle. He reacted immediately, losing the ball before going down to the court. Carroll was ruled out of the rest of the game with the Hawks calling the injury a knee sprain after the game.

Carroll was scheduled to have a MRI on Thursday. It revealed no structural damange

Carroll was in obvious pain on the court, writhing around before being tended to by trainers. He had to be helped off the court and back to the locker room. He didn't put any weight on the knee after it buckled, hopping twice on his right foot before going down. The play can be seen here.

The extent of the injury remains unknown, but the initial reaction did not bode well. Carroll is a core member of Atlanta's lineup and arguably the Hawks' best defensive player. The 28-year-old is in the midst of a career-best year and has been even better during the postseason. He was averaging 17.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game coming into Game 1. In addition to playing a major offensive role, Carroll was also tasked with being the primary defender on LeBron James.

Losing Carroll for an extended time would be a major blow for the Hawks, who are already playing without Thabo Sefolosha. A serious injury would also be extremely unfortunate for Carroll, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the season and would likely command a solid market if healthy.