Jaylen Brown wanted to return on sprained ankle vs. Hawks, but Celtics decided to ‘be smart’

"It was a scary moment."

Jaylen Brown
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown falls to the court after an apparent injury during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Celtics star Jaylen Brown left Tuesday’s game against the Hawks after suffering an ankle injury in the opening minutes.

After walking to the locker room, Brown was ruled out for the rest of the contest. The Celtics announced his injury was a right ankle sprain.

Here’s a look at the play.

Celtics coach Ime Udoka didn’t think Brown will miss extended time when he was asked after the game.

“Got some swelling and soreness, obviously,” Udoka said. “He tried to give it a go in the back and wanted to come back out and play. We just decided big picture, where we’re at in the season, [to] be smart. So we’ll know more over the next few days.”


Grant Williams said Brown was in “good spirits” after the game.

“It was a scary moment,” he said. “You see me on the bench and I like covered my eyes and went into [assistant coach] Ben [Sullivan]’s arms. So you never want to see that happen. Luckily he’s OK and he’s better than what … I pictured. So the biggest thing is just trying to lift him up and lift the team up after that happens.”

No injury to Jayson Tatum or Brown is well-timed for the Celtics, but Brown’s was particularly difficult. He started Tuesday’s game with a couple of impressive plays, including the first basket of the game and a lob to Robert Williams for a slam.

Brown’s absence seemed to throw the Celtics off for much of the first half, as the Hawks stretched their lead as high as 17. In the second half, the Celtics rebuilt their rotations and rallied back. They led the Hawks in a tight game midway through the fourth quarter.

Brown has been bitten by the injury bug frequently over the last two seasons. He played in 49 of the Celtics’ 63 games this year, missing time due to a hamstring injury and a bout with COVID. Last year, he suffered a wrist injury that required season-ending surgery shortly before the playoffs.


“Just battling through the adversity has been the more challenging thing, ups and downs,” Brown said last month. “I was expecting to be more in a rhythm and things like that when the season started, I had some things that kind of slowed me down a little bit, but I’m looking to ramp things back up and win some games at the same time, and smile and have some fun while I do it.”


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