Celtics Slammed With Laundry List of Injuries
WALTHAM, Mass. – As the old adage says, “When it rains, it pours.”
Despite the sky being clear and blue Friday afternoon, it was pouring on the Celtics practice facility in Waltham, Mass.
Brad Stevens addressed the media just before noon and rattled off a laundry list of injury updates. Some of the updates were expected, and some of them were not. Some were to the benefit of the Celtics, while most were detrimental to the rest of their season.
The most notable update of the day unfortunately falls into the latter category. Stevens let it be known that Gerald Wallace is out indefinitely after an MRI revealed a torn meniscus in his left knee.
“He’s got an ankle that was going to need to have surgery post year and he had some knee soreness,” said Stevens. “Yesterday he went to the doctor and had an MRI and shows he has a torn meniscus”
Stevens indicated that Wallace could undergo surgery to repair both his ankle and meniscus in the near future. He did not set a timetable for surgery or a possible return. The coach spent the majority of his energy applauding the grit Wallace has shown for Boston this season.
“I’ve told you many times, he’s as much of a warrior as they get,” Stevens said. “He plays through anything and everything; literally anything and everything is what we’re learning.”
Unfortunately, what the Celtics are also learning is that another one of their players could miss the remainder of the season. Vitor Faverani, who has been out with an injured left knee since Feb. 4, may also undergo an exploratory surgery sooner rather than later.
“He continues to have swelling,” Stevens explained of Faverani. “He got a second opinion yesterday and the chance is that they may or may not decide to do a small surgical procedure. Again, not a long-term thing but just to get in there and see it better.”
Next up on the injury report was Kelly Olynyk, who missed Wednesday night’s game with a sprained left big toe. Stevens said that his latest medical reports indicate that Olynyk will not be available Saturday night when the Celtics take on the Pacers. Olynyk will remain day-to-day as he continues to rehab the toe.
While the prognoses of Wallace, Faverani and Olynyk stand as substantial blows to the Celtics, there was some good news to be heard on Friday. Forty percent of Boston’s starting lineup could be returning to the court within the next few games.
The most immediate return should be that of Jared Sullinger, who has missed the last three games with a mild concussion. Sullinger has been progressing as the week has worn on and is on the verge of being cleared to participate in games.
“I worked out yesterday, did the bike test. That checked out with the doctors,” Sullinger said. “Now I have to go through a practice to see how I feel.”
Stevens told reporters that Sullinger would practice with the team on Friday and that if the big man does not experience any setbacks through Saturday morning, he will be available to play against Indiana.
Avery Bradley won’t be on the floor to take on the Pacers but he could be back for next week’s showdown with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and the Brooklyn Nets. Bradley has missed the last seven games and 13 of the last 16 overall with a sore right ankle. However, his recovery is trending in the right direction.
“Avery is feeling a lot better. It looks like he’s going to be doing a lot better,” said Stevens. “He’ll be re-evaluated the middle to end of next week. We anticipate good news in the very near future, which is great.”
Stevens, who has been shuffling the starting lineup around for a month to fill Bradley’s void, added, “I can’t wait to get Avery back.”
Surely, the coach can’t wait to get anyone back who may be able to contribute meaningful minutes. Boston added Chris Babb to its roster by signing him to a 10-day contract on Friday, but the C’s are still playing with limited resources.
Hold your fingers in the air and count them one by one. That’s the amount of players the Celtics are expected to have available when they take on the NBA’s best team Saturday night.
The adage is old and true. When it rains, it pours.