WALTHAM — Celtics head coach Brad Stevens divulged that big man Kelly Olynyk, injured on the team’s recent road trip, will miss at least another week with a sprained right ankle, and perhaps longer.
“I don’t anticipate him playing until after the All-Star break,” Stevens told reporters following Saturday’s practice.
The Celtics have six more games before All-Star weekend, including five in the next seven days.
Olynyk suffered the severe ankle sprain after landing on the shoe of Thomas Robinson during a win over the Blazers in Portland nine days ago. He’s missed five games already and wore a walking boot on his right foot while speaking with reporters in Waltham on Thursday.
Earlier this month, the Celtics had an embarrassment of riches in the frontcourt, with five rotation-caliber bigs at Stevens disposal. But following the trade of Brandan Wright and Olynyk’s injury, that area of strength has dissipated in a hurry. Stevens has been forced to go small off the bench in recent games, playing both Gerald Wallace and Tayshaun Prince at the four with no other alternatives besides new addition Shavlik Randolph.
Luckily, the Celtics get a lengthy nine-day respite during the All-Star break this year, so the odds are good that Olynyk will be healthy for a return to action by February 20th, when the team kicks off its second half of the season against the Sacramento Kings.
Olynyk was also named to the World roster at the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend, but his availability for that contest on Feb. 13 remains a question mark.
“I think that, if he’s fully healthy and he could play a game for us on that day, then he’ll play in it,” said Stevens. “If he’s not fully healthy and he wouldn’t normally play a game for us, then he won’t play in it.