Friday, Nov. 10 - Hornets at Celtics
Pregame – Injured C's Showing Signs of Progression
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics had a scare Wednesday night when rookie wing Jayson Tatum mysteriously injured his right ankle against the Los Angeles Lakers. He was forced to miss the second half of the Celtics’ 107-96 win, and was later seen exiting the arena in a walking boot.
Worry no more, was the message Brad Stevens delivered ahead of tonight’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets.
“Jayson went though a workout this morning, went through shootaround (this afternoon), and unless something comes up during warmups, he’s available to play,” the coach said an hour and 45 minutes before tip-off.
It’s still in question as to how Tatum injured the ankle in the first place. He didn’t land awkwardly or twist it; he just suddenly began experiencing discomfort.
“[Our training staff] just gave me the medical speech, but it basically sounded like he just had a little bit of pain and inflammation,” said Stevens. “When he left (the game) Wednesday, he had an x-ray here, and then had deeper imaging, the MRI, yesterday, and it didn’t show much. He felt way better yesterday, and way better this morning.”
If Tatum is able to play, he will start alongside Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes.
Not in the starting lineup again is Al Horford. Boston's big man missed all of Wednesday’s game after entering concussion protocol, and he will not be returning to action tonight.
Horford suffered a blow to the head Monday night when Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore was attempting to block one of his shot attempts late in the second quarter. He showed some initial discomfort after the hit, but he was able to play the rest of the game, logging 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
However, Horford was not feeling well Wednesday morning, so he entered the league’s concussion protocol.
He was back in Boston’s locker room ahead of Friday’s game, but the Celtics want to take a precautionary approach with the injury, especially considering that he missed nine games last season because of a concussion.
“Al is doing way better,” said Stevens. “He’s progressing really well, he’s gone through all the protocol up until this point, but we’re going to hold him out for tonight and reassess as we head into the weekend.”
For now, the Celtics will have to continue to find a way to win without Horford. Fortunately, a healthy Tatum should be able to help them out as they search for their 11th straight victory tonight against the Hornets.
- Taylor C. Snow