BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics’ frontcourt took another hit Wednesday night.
Center Aron Baynes fractured his left hand during Boston’s 111-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns, and is out indefinitely.
The injury occurred in the opening minutes of the game, when Baynes hand got tangled with D’Andre Ayton’s wrist as the Phoenix big man looked to make a pass. Baynes stayed in the game for another minute, pulling down a defensive rebound and throwing down a dunk. He grabbed his hand in pain as he celebrated his slam with teammates, exiting for the Boston locker room.
It didn’t take the team long to rule Baynes out for the rest of the contest, and for now, there is no timetable for his return.
“I saw the X-rays, so I can confirm that one. Even I could see the break,” head coach Brad Stevens said after the game. “Who knows how long he’s going to be out, but he’s disappointed.”
Losing Baynes is another hit to Boston’s depth in the middle, as Al Horford missed his sixth straight game Wednesday night as he deals with a knee injury. Forward Marcus Morris was a late scratch on Wednesday with a sore right knee, and Guerschon Yabusele remains sidelined with a sprained right ankle.
Daniel Theis started the third quarter in place of Baynes, and could find himself in the starting five in Baynes’ absence. He had four points, three rebounds and two assists in his 21 minutes on the floor Wednesday night.
If there is any silver lining to Baynes’ injury, it’s the extended playing time that rookie Robert Williams III should see for however long Baynes is sidelined. Williams is quickly becoming a fan favorite for his stellar defense and monstrous dunks (and his Time Lord nickname), and had eight points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots off in his 25 minutes off the bench on Wednesday. Williams was 4-for-4 from the floor in Boston’s losing effort, with five of his eight rebounds coming off the offensive glass.
Baynes, a key part of Boston’s defense, was averaging 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14 minutes per game for the Celtics.