BOSTON (CBS) – Managing the Celtics’ roster has been a serious challenge for head coach Brad Stevens during the past couple months, thanks to a plethora of trades. Kelly Olynyk’s latest injury won’t make that process any easier.
The second-year big man suffered a sprained right ankle in Portland last Thursday. He sat out the remainder of the team’s road trip this past week, but after speaking with the media on practice Thursday, it appears he won’t be back in action for the foreseeable future.READ MORE: Injuries Reported At Car Crash In South Boston
“It’s tough with something like an ankle, everyone is different,” Olynyk said of the injury. “It could be a week, it could be three weeks, it could be a month. You never know. I’m just trying to get better and evaluate it each day and take the next step whenever it’s deemed necessary.”
In the meantime, Olynyk has focused on rest and rehabilitation to recover from the ailment. Olynyk missed 10 games in his rookie season with a sprain on the same ankle and is determined to not let the injury linger past his return.READ MORE: Lawrence Teachers Will Rally Before School In Response To Increased Fighting
“[I’m doing] plenty of stuff [to treat it]. You’d probably have to talk to [team trainer] Ed [Lacerte], they can tell you better,” Olynyk said. “It’s almost treatment overload, just trying to do whatever you can to keep that swelling down, get the pain out of there and try to get it moving as best we can.”
In Olynyk’s absence, Stevens has stuck with a shift he made to the Celtics starting lineup in Portland, putting power forward Brandon Bass in place of Tyler Zeller in the team’s opening five. What exactly is the benefit of starting a pair of power forwards in Bass and Jared Sullinger for Stevens? It’s all about depth.
“We have a lot less flexibility with Kelly out, because he can play with just about anybody coming off of the bench,” said Brad Stevens. “If you brought Sully, Tyler (Zeller) or Bass off the bench, Kelly’s skill set enables him to play with those guys. We decided to start Bass before the Portland game because we decided it would be best for our match-ups, and they didn’t start the lineup we thought. But he’s a real good pro, and he’ll be effective starting or coming off the bench.”MORE NEWS: St. John Paul II School Football Players Accused Of Using Racial Slurs During Game
It’ll be up to that trio to replace the 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1 steal over 24.5 minutes per game Olynyk has been averaging this season. If they can hold down the fort for the next few weeks, Olynyk’s eventual return should help keep the Celtics in the thick of a wide-open race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference in the coming weeks.