Celtics injury report: Jaylen Brown available against Bucks Monday night, Josh Richardson to stay out


Jaylen Brown will return to the field for the Celtics on Monday night against the Milwaukee Bucks in his second return attempt from a lingering hamstring injury.

“I feel great,” Brown said after practice on Sunday. “I feel like myself, how I started the season and how I started to feel coming back from COVID, putting my legs back under me. Obviously it was difficult to watch, especially wanting to see how our team fought for the most part. It was hard to watch but coming back I’m just looking to add to the win, try to put everyone on the same page, bring energy and make basketball games win- ball.

The All-Star Keeper missed the team’s five-game trip to the West Coast as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain he originally suffered on November 4. Brown initially missed eight games with the injury before coming back with a five-game minute limit last month. However, the 24-year-old did not look the same on his return, averaging 14.6 points and 3.8 rebounds while looking hampered by injury at times.

“I think I came back maybe a little too early before because I wasn’t myself,” Brown admitted. “And the hamstrings are a bit tricky, so we were just taking the time to figure it out. The organization and the medical staff had good communication and we understood that. “

Celtics medical staff have again chosen to rule Brown out for the 10-day Boston trip in the hopes of making a full recovery, which Ime Udoka believes the team has accomplished.

“He’s good,” Udoka said. “You can see the burst is back. He’s been stepping it up throughout the week, especially on this trip, he’s stepping it up, and he’s feeling great after workouts. That’s the main thing – how his body recovers, without pain or tightness, like it did when he came back for games.

“His conditioning, his build-up and his level of intensity in his workouts were very difficult during the road trip. He played a lot, sprinted a lot, prepared to really test the muscle fatigue and see how he felt the next day. We have really stepped it up and are very confident that it will be here to stay.

Udoka expects him to be available for 30 minutes immediately when he returns against Milwaukee on Monday night and a light volume schedule this week should help Brown from a recovery standpoint as well. The Celtics only play against the Warriors on Friday night.

Brown’s return comes at a key point in the season for the franchise after falling below the 0.500 mark after 27 games following a 1-4 road trip without Brown. After talking about the possibility of making changes to the roster following Friday’s loss to the Suns, Udoka spoke of a more patient approach with Brown back on the roster.

“The first thing is to get Jaylen back is a big part of it,” Udoka said of the potential changes. “I don’t want to overreact to what we haven’t had and make changes just to make changes. We will see where we are when we get back to full power.

“J-Rich is out now, so we still have some guys we can tinker with. Moreso’s lineups and which ones are the best, offensively and defensively, in terms of minutes and playing time. the pitch together. We’re going to insert Jaylen and not expect him to change the world, but that’s a huge part of what we’ve been missing. Offensively it will help, defensively it will help and it should help everything. around. “

Richardson remains in health and safety protocols for the third straight day after being placed there before Friday’s game against the Suns. Udoka has had no further updates on his status, but said the team will take enhanced measures to try to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak amid a growing number of cases in the league.

“We discussed the issue with our team before the game against Phoenix, how we need to tighten up,” Udoka said. “It’s nothing league-wide that has been mandated or that we have talked about yet, but you see the increases in numbers and we just talked about tightening everything up with our team. When you have a situation, it also draws attention to your team and the league as a whole. We just need to be stricter on our protocols, wear our masks, and be diligent in our process. “


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