Notes: Olynyk (ankle) nears return

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BOSTON -- Boston Celtics second-year big man Kelly Olynyk is expected to participate in the team's offday workout Saturday and could be back on the court as early as Sunday night's visit from the Golden State Warriors.

Olynyk missed his 16th consecutive game during Friday's 106-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets, but coach Brad Stevens pegged him questionable for Sunday's game.

"Kelly did a little bit more [Thursday]. He’s going to be able to hopefully practice [Saturday] then we’ll go from there," said Stevens. "I would say that, I don’t know what the levels of game detail are, I guess questionable maybe for Sunday, if he practices well. Even if he practices well and feels good, we’ll see how he does. But he’s getting close."


It was eight years ago this August that the Celtics traded Al Jefferson to Minnesota as part of the deal that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston. With Garnett returning to Minnesota this week, Jefferson was asked during Friday's visit to TD Garden if he ever thinks about ending his career with the Boston team that drafted him.

"Aw, man, I ain't trying to grow old too fast. C'mon, man," scoffed Jefferson.

Jefferson turned 30 in January. He holds a $13.5 million player option for the 2015-16 season. But what about a Boston return a bit further down the line?

"Many, many years down the road," said Jefferson. "But I thought it was big for [Garnett] to go back where he started. I just think that was good for the city, good for him. It's just like a welcome home."

And pondering the thought of wearing Celtics green again, Jefferson channeled Garnett (minus the screaming).

"Anything's possible," he said. "I never would close that door."

Jefferson noted how he still comes back here most summers and works out with former Celtics strength and conditioning coach Walter Norton. Maybe Boston can go get rookie classmate Kendrick Perkins, too?

"That would be crazy, right? Me and Perk playing together again," said Jefferson. "I'd rather play with him than against him, I know that. I hate that he's in the East now again."


• After six straight losses to start their NBA rivalry, Tyler Zeller broke up the shutout against his brother, Cody, on Friday night. The Zellers still find time to communicate during the season and used Charlotte's early arrival into Boston as a chance for a rare dinner. Who paid? "We split it," said Tyler.

• Did Friday's game have a bit of a playoff atmosphere given Boston's proximity to Charlotte in the standings? "No doubt," said Isaiah Thomas. "I think that was a playoff game; two teams fighting to get into the playoffs and we were down 16 and we didn’t give up we just kept fighting and fighting and kept believing in each other and we got the win." And how did Boston rally from that 16-point hole? " “Staying in attack mode," said Thomas. "I think once we hit a few shots, we got a little bit of confidence and we’re just in attack mode the last 16-17 minutes of that game where we had the Hornets on their heels. That’s where we wanted them and we played a pretty good half."