James Young Remains Sidelined in Orlando

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

ORLANDO - Celtics rookie swingman James Young continues to be sidelined from summer league action due to lingering issues from a car accident he was involved in several weeks ago.

The Celtics were fully aware of the accident and reviewed Young's medical records prior to drafting him 17th overall on June 26. They do not expect Young to have any long-term effects from the accident but are operating cautiously when it comes to bringing him back to live action.

Young has not participated in any of the team's summer league practices in Waltham, Mass. or in Orlando. He has, however, begun to ride the stationary bike and take shots, and he's expected to take another step forward today.

Said Brad Stevens, “I know he’s going through a light, light workout today... We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and we’ll go from there.”

Stevens went on to term Young’s status for Monday’s 3 p.m. matchup with the Indiana Pacers as “unlikely to probably not.”

Fortunately for Young and the Celtics, the new formant of the Orlando Pro Summer League is conducive to allowing players to return from injuries. After downing the Heat on Saturday, the Celtics had only a practice scheduled for Sunday. The team will play the Pacers on Monday and then have an entire day off on Tuesday before returning to the court for the final three days of the league’s schedule.

The hope is that this year’s extra days off will give Young enough time to heal up and play in games before the week’s end. But even if that hope isn’t fulfilled, the 18-year-old’s trip to Orlando will have been very worthwhile.

“He’s in every film session. He’s watching every walk-through,” said Stevens. “He’s shooting around right now and it’s really important.”

Even more important, Stevens said, than it was for Rajon Rondo to be around practices last season while he was recovering from a torn ACL.

“Much more important for James to be here because he’s never been through anything like this,” the coach explained. “I think, like any young guy – and he’s a young, young guy – he’s got a lot to learn about how the NBA game is played and also how we want to play.”

For now, that learning will take place from a distance, which is giving Young the basketball itch.

“You can see him trying to shoot as much as he can and the trainers keep telling him to slow down and not shoot as much,” said Phil Pressey, who has gotten a first-hand look at Young’s anxiousness to return. “But he’s going to have a long career. He’s a young kid, and him missing a couple of days is not going to affect his career at all.”

The question remains to be answered as to whether Young will miss a couple of days or a couple of weeks. His recovery is moving in the right direction, but his status for Boston’s final four summer league games remains cloudy.