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Hawks’ Capela to have MRI on hyperextended knee, reported optimism injury not serious

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Play-In Tournament

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 15: Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks is helped off the court after he is injured in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliersat Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on April 15, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Rick Osentoski/Getty Images)

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It looked serious when it happened, and it felt like it doomed a Hawks team already trailing by double digits on the road.

It may turn out to be neither.

With :30 seconds in the first half, Hawks’ center Clint Capela fouled Cavaliers’ big man Evan Mobley, who fell backward, right into Capela’s knee, hyperextending it.

Capela had to be helped off the court and did not play in the second half. Without him, the Hawks rallied on the road behind 38 points from Trae Young and beat the Cavaliers to advance to the first round of the playoffs. Atlanta will face off against Miami starting on Sunday.

Whether Capela can play in that series remains to be seen.

Atlanta announced Capela will have an MRI on Saturday in Miami, and his status will be based on those results. As Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes notes, the hyperextension is what happened to the knee, not the injury itself.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported there is optimism that Capela’s injury is not serious.

Atlanta needs Capela against the Heat to have a chance, specifically to match up with Bam Adebayo. Capela averaged 11.1 points and 11.9 rebounds a game this season; more importantly, he provides the Hawks an interior defensive presence they will need in the next series.