Agent: Hawks' Carroll has no structural damage in knee

Cavaliers Strike First in Atlanta
Cavaliers Strike First in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) -- An MRI on DeMarre Carroll's left knee showed no structural damage, and he hopes to play for Atlanta in Friday night's Game 2 against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Carroll's agent said Thursday.

Mark Bartelstein told The Associated Press that Carroll has only a knee sprain and "maybe a little" bone bruise.

Carroll celebrated the news on his Twitter feed.

Bartelstein said Carroll will receive treatment for the soreness in hopes of playing against the Cavaliers in Game 2.

"Last night was a sleepless night," Bartelstein said. "We're all feeling very fortunate this morning."

Carroll's knee appeared to buckle as he was driving to the basket with about 5 minutes left in the 97-89 loss to the Cavaliers. Carroll couldn't put pressure on the leg as he was helped off the floor.

The fear was Carroll had suffered a significant injury that could end his postseason. Instead, Bartelstein said Carroll was headed to the Hawks' facility following the MRI.

"He's going to get treated around the clock for the next 36 hours, and then we'll see how he feels," Bartelstein said. "I know DeMarre. He's going to do everything he can to get himself ready to play."

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was expected to discuss Carroll's status later Thursday.

The prospect of losing Carroll for a significant portion or the remainder of the series was daunting for the Hawks. Carroll was the team's primary defender on Cleveland star LeBron James and has emerged as a top scorer in the postseason.

At 6-foot-7, Carroll provides the size needed for the difficult matchup against James, who led the Cavaliers with 31 points in Wednesday night's game.

Carroll was Atlanta's leading scorer in the first two rounds of the playoffs with 17.1 points per game. He had five points and two steals before the injury.

If Carroll can't return for Game 2, Kent Bazemore may play a more prominent role. Bazemore filled in for Carroll on Wednesday night and helped lead a late comeback that fell short. Bazemore (6-5) is a guard and could have difficulty matching up against James for an extended period.