Celtics point guard Kemba Walker is doubtful for Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, coach Brad Stevens said Sunday afternoon.
“We’re just really lucky that it didn’t end up being nearly as bad as any of us thought,” Stevens said at the Auerbach Center following a practice.
The fact that Walker is not ruled out is promising and surprising, given that he was stretchered off the court after sustaining a head injury in Boston’s loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday. In the second quarter, Walker collided with teammate Semi Ojeleye and crumpled to the ground, where he laid motionless before receiving medical attention. Walker was then transported to the hospital via ambulance. He was released later that night and traveled back to Boston with the team.
“They went through a series of things with the Denver doctors and a series of things when he got back [Saturday] with our doctors,” Stevens said. “He is continuing to be monitored.”
Walker was officially diagnosed with a neck sprain, according to the team. He is not in the league’s concussion protocol. Stevens said Walker is still dealing with some soreness in his neck and back, but it sounds like he is progressing well.
“It’s been good,” Stevens said. “It’s kind of a minor miracle, based on what we saw the other day.”
Stevens also shared an update on forward Gordon Hayward, who was seen getting shots up after practice. Earlier this month, Hayward underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hand. He did not travel with the team during the recent five-game road trip.
“He’s healing well,” Stevens said. “There’s still some swelling where the incision was, but that’s to be expected. He’s doing a really good job. It seems like he’s on pace.”
The Celtics’ initial prognosis sidelined Hayward for six weeks, slating his return for the team’s Christmas Day game in Toronto. Stevens said he has not asked for an updated timeline.
Gordon Hayward was shooting after practice. He ended up taking off the tape that was on two of his fingers. Brad Stevens said he hasn’t asked if there’s an updated timeline. pic.twitter.com/Cg3B0yeSQa
— Nicole Yang (@nicolecyang) November 24, 2019