Despite remaining sidelined for Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown says he’s feeling “better” and “taking things day-by-day” in his recovery from a lower back bruise.
“I don’t think it compares to some of the injuries I’ve had before,” Brown told reporters at TD Garden. “I don’t think it’s that bad, so I should be looking to get back on the court soon.”
Brown suffered a scary fall against the Dallas Mavericks Nov. 24 and did not play in Boston’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans Monday. The 22-year-old revealed Friday he has also been suffering from back spasms, but they’ve “loosened up in the past two or so days.”
“I have low-back tightness in general but never to this kind of level,” he said.
The injury interrupts a promising stretch for the third-year wing, who was starting to find his groove after rather flat start to the season. Brown called injuries “frustrating” in general, but “if there [were] a list of injuries that everybody is dealing with in the NBA, [he’d] probably pick [his] over a lot of the other ones.”
Before tip-off, Brown was spotted on the court going through various stretching exercises and shooting drills. He said Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves is still a “possibility” but noted he’ll have more clarity when he goes through his routine that day.
“I didn’t test it as much as I’m going to test it [Saturday], so I’ll have a better understanding [Saturday] about where I’m at and the pain level and whether it’s bearable or not,” Brown said.
Coach Brad Stevens said he didn’t know if Brown would be available.
“If I was guessing, I’d probably say no, but certainly not ruled out yet,” Stevens said.
In Brown’s absence, Stevens has been tinkering the team’s rotation. Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart, who both started against the Pelicans, got the nod again Friday. Though Brown acknowledged he could be bumped from the starting five beyond the length of his injury, he expressed a team-first mentality the Celtics have been pushing all season long.
“Whatever needs to be done to figure it out,” he said. “Everybody has talent, everybody has ability, but, obviously, we have to make something work here. We don’t want to be looking down the line and trying to figure out what if or woulda, coulda, whatever, so whatever it is that we can make it work now, I’m totally happy with that.”