The Boston Celtics announced that rookie wing Romeo Langford underwent successful surgery to repair the scapholunate ligament in his right wrist:
#NEBHInjuryReport Romeo Langford this morning underwent successful surgery to repair the scapholunate ligament in his right wrist.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 22, 2020
He will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season. Further updates will be provided as appropriate.
Langford was initially injured during Boston’s final seeding game of the 2019-20 season restart. At the time, the Celtics announced Langford would play through the injury.
Langford played in all four games for Boston in the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers and then two games against the Toronto Raptors. Brad Stevens went to Langford as a surprise first substitution in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. Unfortunately, Langford lasted just 81 seconds before suffering a strained right adductor.
The adductor strain, combined with the still-torn wrist ligament, made it an easier decision for Langford to have surgery now.
The two injuries in the bubble were the latest in a long line of maladies for the rookie wing. While at Indiana, Langford played through a torn ligament in his right thumb. As a right-handed player, this adversely impacted Langford’s shooting. It’s believed his struggles were part of what caused him to fall to 14th in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Recovery from the torn thumb ligament caused Langford to miss the entirely or 2019 NBA Summer League, plus valuable offseason training time. Early in training camp, he also battled a sore groin.
Then, while assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G-League, Langford suffered a sprained ankle on two different occasions.
All of the injuries limited Langford to just 32 regular season games and seven playoff games in his rookie season. He shot just 35% overall and was a paltry 5-of-27 from behind the arc.
There were signs of promise though. Langford scored a career-high 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting in a win over Atlanta in early-February. The Celtics were without both Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward in that game.
In Game 2 against the 76ers, with Boston again without Hayward, Langford played 22:47 and scored six points in a blowout Celtics victory.
Now, the question is: How long will recovery take for the talented wing? While we still don’t know when the next season will start, Langford will likely miss valuable offseason workout time once again. Players often make their biggest leap between their rookie and sophomore years, because they have the time to focus on their game.
Langford did benefit from the four-month hiatus in the middle of the 2019-20 season. While he was surprisingly good on defense from the start, Langford looked like a more confident player on offense during the restart.
This offseason would have likely been focused on refining his jumper, while tightening up his ballhandling skills. Now, Langford will miss some of that time. Still, it’s better to get the surgery out of the way now, and to allow him time to recover before training camp in advance of the 2021 season.