For Al Horford, the rehabilitation continues. Even in Italy.
The Hawks center is participating in Basketball Without Borders this week in Rome. He works with young campers from all over Europe by day. He still finds time following activities to work toward a return from a torn right pectoral muscle that cost him most of last season.
Horford has gotten a little help from his friends. Hawks assistant coach Darvin Ham is on the European trip and the two have been continuing to work together. Horford said he has no doubt he will be ready following season-ending surgery by training camp at the end of September.
“I’ll be fine,” Horford told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Rome Wednesday. “I’m very confident I’ll be good to go. It’s been a little longer recovery than I expected but there is no question that I will be ready to go by training camp.”
Horford said he could not yet say how close he is to being 100 percent recovered. He has not begun contact work.
“It’s hard to say, specifically,” Horford said. “I feel really good. I haven’t done any contact yet. That is definitely my biggest gauge where I’m going to be able to tell where I’m at physically. Right now, I worked out earlier and I went in the weight room and did some work. The shoulder still gets pretty sore. That is one thing.
“The other thing is to be able to go out and start banging against people and playing. I feel like that is where I’m going to tell where I’m at as far as a percentage.”
Horford will remain in Europe for another 10 days following the conclusion of the camp Thursday. Following some rest and relaxation, he will return to Atlanta to continue his rehabilitation. He said Atlanta will be his home base although he will go to the University of Florida, his alma mater, for several weeks to train.
Horford appeared in 29 games for the Hawks this season before suffering the injury Dec. 26 in Cleveland. He had surgery on Dec. 31 to begin the long road to recovery. Horford missed much of the 2011-12 season after tearing his left pectoral muscle after 11 games. The Hawks also expect Horford to be ready by the start on training camp.