BOSTON - In a season of constant change for the Boston Celtics, things shook up again when Gerald Wallace was declared out for the season with a torn left meniscus. Despite surgery on the knee and left ankle keeping him off the court, Wallace won't be going anywhere.
"I'll still give you a report," he told reporters when asked if he would still talk after games.
"I'm very disappointed just for the simple fact that the injury, not knowing how long I've been playing with it and what's been going on," Wallace said. "It was just a pain that kind of felt different in my knee. So it's disappointing to end my season this way, just when it felt like I was starting to play at a very high level."
While Wallace's definition of a very high level has changed quite a bit over the past few seasons, his surgery comes at a time where the Celtics' lack of depth has them relying on D-League signings. With Avery Bradley being reevaluated "at the end of this upcoming week," for a sprained ankle, Vitor Faverani out indefinitely with knee swelling and Kelly Olynyk missing Saturday's game with a sprained toe, coach Brad Stevens will rely on new signing Chris Babb to fill out the second unit.
Despite the depleted roster, Wallace recognized that he was dealing with something different and knew he had to do something about it.
"It was a different pain," he said. "It's just the pain in the back of my knee. Usually, you know, when you get going, you pretty good and you know it. But when the pain is just still there, you know, it's good. Some pain, when I start playing, it just kind of goes away and then I feel it after the game. But this one was just continuously all the way through. The main thing was that I was going to have an MRI on my ankle anyway, so I just told them while I'm there, I might as well take a look at my knee.
"Unfortunately, it turned out to be something bad."
It wasn't the only physical ailment Wallace was dealing with this week, as his back was acting up as well.
"Yeah, the back spasms, I pretty much knew what those were from. I had too many sodas over the All-Star break. I know where that came from, so that wasn't a big concern for me."
So Wallace goes into surgery with plenty of time before the start of training camp in the fall. But he will need all of that time, as he needs to be extra cautious at this tage of his career. "I mean you always worry about having surgery, especially on my knee at my stage of my career. It's a concern," he said. "It's just something that I'll have to work through and kind of push myself in the offseason to get better and get back to 100-percent."
Wallace has plenty of work ahead, regardless of how significant the surgery is. But he anticipates returning next year will not be an issue.
"I haven't had a target date yet. Two to four months, I should be good to where there's no problems. It's just dependent on my rehab and how seriously I take it."
With Wallace gone, Chris Johnson has the opportunity to showcase himself and guarantee a roster spot next season. But the void chips away yet again at a depleted roster that has been pulled apart throughout the year. While it hastens the Celtics tanking prowess, Wallace is sticking with his team and continuing to be a voice on the bench and in the locker room.
How much will the Celtics miss Crash this year?
This poll is closed
A ton, he was a key guy off the bench and a leader
A little, he's a shell of himself but still a valuable player
Not much, he was an offensive liability
[Generic tanking option]