Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Notebook: Celts injury roundup
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics navigated Wednesday's 115-104 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks with only nine available bodies. A rundown of the injury report:
Bradley's return remains uncertain
Celtics guard Avery Bradley, who has missed 13 of the team's past 16 games due to a lingering right ankle sprain, said Wednesday that he's improving but has not engaged in any basketball activities and has no timeline for his return to game action.
Bradley did not accompany the team on its four-game trip out west after the All-Star break and hasn't played since Feb. 9. He missed five games in January with a right ankle sprain, then aggravated the injury trying to resume game activity.
"It’s been very frustrating, not to be able to be there for my team, especially on a tough West Coast trip," Bradley said. "Watching the games has been tough. Having another setback, another year -- it’s been hard on me. All I can do is get healthy and try to get back as soon as possible."
Bradley's rookie season was detoured after he required surgery on his ankle after he chipped a bone in a pre-draft workout. He emerged in his sophomore season, but suffered injuries to both shoulders that required surgery and forced him to sit out much of the playoffs that season, as well as the first 30 games of the 2012-13 season.
Bradley appeared in the first 43 games of the 2013-14 campaign before spraining his ankle in Miami. Bradley was asked if he's being extra cautious trying to return this time after rushing back too soon earlier this month.
"Not only me, but I think [the team is] as well," he said. "We don’t want to irritate it any more and go back to where I started at. We’re just taking our time and letting everything calm down."
Does Bradley feel snakebitten?
"Of course, but at the same time, I play so hard, I know that injuries like this can happen sometimes," he said. "Twisting your ankle, that’s part of the game. I’m not really worried about it. I know that nothing is broke or anything. I’m fine. All I have to do is get better so I can help my team."
Sprained toe sidelines Olynyk
Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk sprained the big toe on his left foot during Saturday's loss at Sacramento, then aggravated it while trying to play through the pain on Monday in Utah. The team feared he might have broken the toe, but tests revealed a sprain that should limit the time he misses.
Olynyk wore a protective walking boot while watching Wednesday's game from the bench.
"We actually thought it was broken [Tuesday, but] got good news today," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "He’s going to be in a boot for at least the next couple of days. Probably unlikely [to play Saturday against the Pacers], but possibly."
Olynyk said he's not even sure how the injury happened, but he's likely in the boot for the rest of the week. When will he be back?
"Not sure," he said. "Trying to get this boot off first. Hopefully, sooner than later."
Olynyk scored 21 points despite the toe injury in Utah.
"I was just running on the outside of my foot," he said. When a reporter joked he shouldn't mess with what works, Olynyk added, "That’s true. I could try and do that. It might cause more problems."
Sullinger trending toward Saturday return
Celtics second-year center Jared Sullinger sat out his third straight game Wednesday while recovering from a concussion suffered in the fourth quarter of Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sullinger has passed all of the league's mandated concussion tests and could be back on the court for Saturday's visit from the Indiana Pacers.
"All of his tests that he had were passed [Wednesday]," Stevens said. "[Thursday] is a big conditioning day, Friday is practice full-contact, then Saturday -- the progression would be that, to be cleared to play. He’s done what he needed to do up to this point. But obviously we’re very sensitive to that -- as we should be -- very cautious about that, and we’re bringing him back at the right pace."
Faverani seeks second opinion on knee
Celtics rookie center Vitor Faverani remains hindered by swelling in his ailing left knee and will undergo further testing.
Faverani has been sidelined since injuring his knee in a D-League appearance on Feb. 4. Stevens said the team had hoped to assign him to the Maine Red Claws for Thursday's visit from Canton, Ohio, but that has been scratched.
Faverani said he was scheduled to meet with team doctors Wednesday, then will seek a second opinion Thursday.
Asked about being unable to play, Faverani said, "It’s hard. Everybody wants to play right now. We have no big men -- Sully’s out, Kelly’s out. It’s hard, but it’s my knee and [I'm trying to] protect myself."