Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha has been ruled out of the remainder of the 2014-15 NBA season as he broke his tibula during his arrest in the aftermath of the Chris Copeland stabbing incident in New York City on early Wednesday morning.
Thabo Sefolosha is out for the rest of the 2014-15 NBA season with a broken tibula.
The Hawks issued a press release on Sefolosha's injury on their official website on Thursday:
"Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha suffered injuries during yesterday's early morning incident. An examination of Sefolosha's right leg, including an X-ray at Barclays Center yesterday and an MRI today at Peachtree Orthopaedics revealed a fractured fibula and ligament damage that will require surgery.
"He is out for the remainder of the season, including the entire postseason, and a timeline for his return will be updated at a later date."
Hawks head coach Mike Buldenhozer describes it as a "very difficult situation" for Sefolosha, per the team's official website:
"This is a very difficult situatio for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery. We know that his approach and dedication will serve him well in his rehabilitation. Our team remains focused and will be prepared as we head into the postseason."
According to a police report obtained by ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz, Sefolosha hurt himself when he resisted arrest during a stabbing incident involving the Indiana Pacers' Chris Copeland in New York City on April 8. Police took Sefolosha and his Hawks teammate, center Pero Antic, for "interfering with efforts of local police to set up a crime scene," per Arnovitz.
The two were released later that same afternoon but did not play in Atlanta's 114-111 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday evening, Arnovitz adds.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore's April 9 update reveals authorities charged Sefolosha "with one count of resisting arrest and one count of disorderly conduct." He has a court date set for June 18.
Vivlamore also secured a police report from officer Johnpaul Giancona which reveals it took four policemen to subdue Sefolosha early Wednesday morning:
"When I approached the defendant to place him under arrest for the above described conduct, I observed the defendant flail his arms, twist his body, kick his legs, and struggle against me making it difficult for me to place handcuffs on him and complete the arrest. It took four officers to place the defendant in handcuffs."
Sefolosha's agent, Guy Zucker, told ESPN he stands by his client's innocence:
"There's a legal process underway, therefore, I cannot comment, other than to state I believe in Thabo's innocence completely and am behind him 100 percent. It's an incredibly difficult time for Thabo, his family and the Atlanta Hawks, considering the recent events and the seriousness of his injury."
Sefolosha and Antic issued a joint statement saying they will contest the charges filed against them, per Arnovitz:
"As members of the Atlanta Hawks, we hold ourselves to a high standard and take our roles as professionals very seriously. We will contest these charges and look forward to communicating the facts of the situation at the appropriate time.
"We apologize to our respective families, teammates and the Hawks organization for any negative attention this incident has brought upon them. We are unable to provide further comment as this is an ongoing legal matter."
Sefolosha's season-ending injury comes on the heels of his recent comeback: He just came back from a 23-game absence after he strained his right calf on Jan. 30, per Arnovitz. Atlanta will sorely miss his defense as he leads the team in defensive rating "by a considerable margin," per ESPN.
The Hawks are 16-10 in games without Sefolosha, per Vivlamore.
Sefolosha, who signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Hawks in the summer of 2014, has been averaging 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds this season for the Hawks, per ESPN.
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