UPDATE: Reports say Avery Bradley may be back by Friday March 14.
It’s never a good time of the season to have any injuries, but the Boston Celtics have dealt with too many this season. We are currently in the month of March and the Celtics are going to be facing teams that are in playoff contention the whole month, so it will be important for the Celtics to have as many players healthy as possible if they want to push for the playoffs themselves. Wednesday will be a tough test as the Golden State Warriors come to town and they are on of the top teams in the Western Conference.
I will begin with the bad news for the Celtics. Gerald Wallace is officially done for the season after undergoing arthroscopic knee and ankle surgery Tuesday morning. Wallace has really grown as a veteran and a leader to this young team, so it will be a major blow to the Celtics bench. Wallace has played really hard for the Celtics this season and leading the younger players by example.
Vitor Faverani has bounced around between the Celtics and the Maine Red Claws of the D-League during this season and he may be done playing basketball this season because he is experiencing swelling in his right knee. During the pregame warmups on Saturday against the Pacers, Faverani was running around doing light exercises and his knee blew up like a softball. The doctors cannot figure out what is causing his knee to just swell up at random times and he may need surgery to determine how to fix the issue.
The positive outlook on the losses of these great players is the fact that it gives some of the younger players to step up and they will be back stronger than ever by the time training camp comes next season.
Now for the good news. Kelly Olynyk has missed the last two games with a sprained left toe and had arrived at the games wearing a walking boot. Olynyk practiced this morning with the team in full swing without any issues. He will be evaluated again on Wednesday morning and that will be the deciding factor of he will return for the game against Golden State. It looks like that he will more likely to play Wednesday than not.
Avery Bradley told coach Brad Stevens that he is feeling much better and will undergo an MRI on his sprained ankle Wednesday morning. That MRI on Wednesday will substitute the shootaround prior to the game, so there is a chance that he will miss the game. But if all goes well in the MRI and is cleared by the doctors, he will be ready to play on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets. Bradley has missed 14 of his last 17 games with the nagging ankle injury. These players are rising stars for the Celtics and will be needed healthy from this point going forward for the success of the franchise.
The Celtics played against the Atlanta Hawks last Wednesday with only nine active players and against the Indiana Pacers with ten active players including the recent 10-day contract signing of Chris Babb. Teams in the NBA are only successful if the bench can keep up the pace with the starters and the Celtics need to have a full healthy roster to really stay competitive in the NBA. The playoffs are sadly drifting away slowly and a healthy roster will be the difference maker from now until the end of the season.