The Celtics will kick off their 2014 eight-game preseason slate at the TD Garden Monday night when they face off against Nerlens Noel and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The injury list for the evening is a bit longer than most Celtics fans may have hoped for after just one week of training camp. Jeff Green (strained calf), Vitor Faverani (sore knee) and Rajon Rondo (broken hand) will all sit out the team’s opener.
Green suffered his calf injury during an team scrimmage at the Garden in front of season ticket holders Friday night. Brad Stevens spoke about Green’s condition at Sunday’s practice, noting that he didn’t expect it to be a long-term issue.
“Sometimes you really have to determine what’s the difference between being sore and what could potentially be an injury that could keep cropping itself up,” Stevens explained. “With Jeff, we want to be really careful with that because we want him to get back to 100 percent with any muscular issues right now.”
Faverani continues to deal with swelling in his left knee that has sidelined him for the majority of the Celtics training camp.
The injury list for the Celtics does not stop with Faverani though. Marcus Smart is also a question mark for tonight’s contest as well with a mild groin injury. If he’s able to suit up, he could get the start at point guard in place of Rajon Rondo.
“I’ll either start Marcus if he’s available, or I’ll start Evan [Turner] there,” Stevens said yesterday. “Phil [Pressey] will be backup.”
Veteran forward Brandon Bass is dealing with a corneal abrasion, but he is expected to play after participating in practice on Sunday.
What do all the injuries mean for the Celtics tonight? It’s good news for the bottom half of the team’s roster, as youngsters like Erik Murphy, James Young, and Dwight Powell may have an opportunity to play some extended minutes with a sizable number of Celtics hobbled. With many battles looming on the team’s crowded depth chart, several players will be looking to make a positive early impression with the coaching staff against the Sixers.