(Reuters) - The Atlanta Hawks had cause to celebrate on Thursday when medical tests revealed that forward DeMarre Carroll had no structural or ligament damage after suffering a leg injury in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals
Carroll, the Hawks’ leading scorer in the playoffs, exited the contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday with 4:59 to play after his left knee buckled as he drove to the basket.
The 28-year-old was unable to put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the court and led back to the locker room on crutches, amid fears that his postseason could be over.
“An X-ray was negative and an MRI revealed a left knee sprain,” the Hawks said in a statement on Thursday after the small forward was tested. “Carroll will be listed as questionable and his status will be updated as appropriate.”
Carroll, who was averaging 17.1 points per game this postseason coming into the conference finals, had been diagnosed with a sprained knee on Wednesday night.
”We’re hopeful,“ Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters about the prospect of Carroll returning for Game Two in Atlanta on Friday. ”We’ll continue to monitor it over the next 24 hours.
“DeMarre is a complete player. He has a big impact on both ends of the court.”
The Cavaliers lead the best-of-seven series 1-0 after winning Game One in Atlanta 97-89.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Keating