The Celtics may have their biggest offseason acquisition suited up for the season opener Wednesday night.
Center Tristan Thompson’s hamstring injury has improved, and he is a game-time decision to play against the Bucks.
After taking part in the team’s shootaround Wednesday morning, Thompson told reporters that “things are looking in the right direction.”
“I gotta see when I go through warmups and when [the training staff] tests the hamstring if it clears protocols and the boxes,” Thompson said. “If it does, then hopefully I’ll be able to suit up tonight.”
Thompson, who signed a two-year, $19 million deal with the Celtics in November, injured his hamstring in a private workout prior to the start of training camp. He didn’t play in the Celtics’ two preseason games last week but was removed from the injury report on Tuesday. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters Tuesday that he was “hopeful” Thompson would play on Wednesday night.
The veteran center, who spent his first eight seasons with the Cavaliers, hasn’t played in a game since March 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cavs were not one of the 22 teams invited to the league’s bubble in Orlando due to their record last season.
Thompson said he’s “excited” to get back on the court.
“It’s been over nine, 10 months without competitive basketball, so I’m itching — I’m excited,” Thompson said. “Obviously with this long layoff for myself, after a while you get a little crazy and kind of bored doing the same thing whether it’s working out with your trainer in the weight room or on the court. It’s about time to get some live action, so I’m excited about that.”
If Thompson does play, his minutes may be limited. Stevens told reporters earlier this month that there will be a “ramp-up period” for Thompson because he hasn’t played in such a long time.
“I’m assuming it won’t be just one of those situations where you’re available one day and you get a good practice in and you can play,” Stevens told reporters then. “I think it’ll be a little more than that.”
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