Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown has been diagnosed with a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist. Brown is expected to have the wrist surgically repaired later this week. He will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
#NEBHInjuryReport This past weekend Celtics forward Jaylen Brown was diagnosed with a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist. Brown is expected to have the torn ligament surgically repaired later this week, and will be out for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 10, 2021
It’s unknown exactly when Brown tore the ligament, as he had most recently been on the injury report with a sprained right ankle. It may have happened during the late-April game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Several times in that game, Brown seemed to favoring his left hand/wrist. When asked about it after the game, Brown said “I’m ok” and there were no further follow-up questions.
According to several medical sites, the recovery time for an athlete from this type of surgery can run from 3-6 months. London Upper Limb Surgery says that a return to contact sports usually takes 3-6 months, depending on the severity of the injury.
In late-September of 2020, Celtics wing Romeo Langford underwent a similar surgery for the same torn ligament in his right wrist. Langford was cleared to return from the injury in mid-March. He then missed time while in the health and safety protocol.
Langford’s recovery time was approximately five-and-a-half months. The one difference is that Brown’s tear is in his left, non-shooting wrist. Langford’s was in his right, shooting wrist. It’s unknown how that impacts recovery at this point.
If Brown faces a similar recovery to Langford, that would put him on track to return in early-November. The 2021-22 NBA season is expected to follow closer to the regular calendar. That would mean the season would start in late-October. That could mean Brown will be out or limited to start next season.
Brown’s 2020-21 season comes to an early end after his first All-Star appearance. Because Brown hit the 58-game marker and was named to the All-Star team, he’ll earn approximately $1.8 million in additional bonuses.
For the season, Brown will finish with career-high averages in points (24.7 PPG) and assists (3.4 APG). Brown also shot the best percentages of his career at 48.4% overall, 39.7% from behind the arc and 76.4% at the free throw line.
The Celtics now face uncertainty in their rotation as their season comes to a close. Evan Fournier will presumably continue to start in Brown’s place, while others will be asked to fill in as they have when Brown has missed time previously. Boston currently sits at 7th place in the Eastern Conference. Finishing in that spot would put the Celtics in the Play-In Tournament.
Any run Boston is to make now becomes that much harder without one of their two All-Stars. Jayson Tatum, the other All-Star, has proven capable of carrying the team at times, but has also shown he needs help. To make any sort of noise in the postseason, the Celtics will need Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Marcus Smart and rookies Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard to step forward and fill the void left by Brown’s injury.