For a young team, the Celtics do get injured a lot. There was Al Horford’s concussion that he suffered in practice that cost him nine games at the start of the season. Then there was Avery Bradley’s Achilles strain that he tried to return too quickly from that sidelined him a total of 22. Who would have thought it would be the 11 year pro Amir Johson that would be the team’s ironman. Now, Jae Crowder is dealing with a mystery elbow injury right before the team faces its most important regular season game against the Cavaliers on Wednesday:
“It felt a little weird,” Crowder, talking to reporters, said of the injury after the win. “I don’t even know which play it happened on. I just looked down and saw that it was swollen and I came out of the game.”
Crowder said he's not in excruciating pain, just “a weird type feeling.”
He added, “when I stretch my arm out a little bit, just a weird, tingly feeling.”
Sounds like a funny bone thing, but this isn’t funny. With the #1 seed on the line, the Celtics can ill afford to lose its fourth leading scorer and more importantly, its best defender against LeBron James. X-rays at Madison Square Garden came up negative, but he’s scheduled to have an MRI in Boston on Monday. He’s unsure when the injury happened against the Knicks, but it swelled up late in the third quarter when the game was in hand.
Boston will likely take every precaution to ensure Crowder’s health. With only five games left and a three and four game lead over Toronto and Washington respectively, if there’s any doubt that playing would jeopardize Crowder’s long term health, he’ll sit. He doesn’t seem worried:
Crowder said he's confident in his teammates if he can't go on Wednesday.
"For sure. I 100 percent trust in my teammates," said Crowder. "We've been picking the slack up as a group. We'll figure it out. If I can't go, I'm sure we can get it done still."
Boston should have Avery Bradley back from his reoccurrence of a stomach bug that plagued him last week and Jaylen Brown has regained his form with two strong games, averaging 14 points in 25 minutes.