On Sunday evening, Jayson Tatum took part in an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report where he opened up about this past season, including an undisclosed injury that reared its ugly head again during the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks. According to Tatum, his wrist first bothered him after playing the Atlanta Hawks on February 13th of this past season.
"I played with somewhat of a fracture for two months"— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 21, 2022
Jayson Tatum opens up about playing through an undisclosed injury during the playoffs in live interview with Taylor Rooks in B/R app pic.twitter.com/kt7xZCV36W
“I remember driving back to the house and I had my watch on. In the car, I kept looking at my wrist because something is weighing on it,” recalled Tatum. “Long story short, my wrist was really, really bothering me, and I started taping my wrist. I had a pad on it and started taping my wrist (in game).”
Ultimately, Tatum and his trainer, Nick Sang, wanted the wrist to get looked at before the All-Star break. But as the time approached to get it checked, Tatum admitted he grew more and more nervous about it being a severe injury due to the amount of pain in his wrist.
Tatum sets the record straight— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 21, 2022
Jayson explains viral workout picture with KD during live interview with Taylor Rooks in B/R app pic.twitter.com/JrBb1WrRf9
“I got nervous to get it looked at because I knew how much pain I was in,” said Tatum. “I couldn’t really push my wrist back. At home, I couldn’t hold a plate or a cup. So after each game I was wearing a brace to keep it stable. I had to sleep in it.” The Celtics star said he was mostly nervous because he didn’t want someone to say he needed to miss time or rest due to the injury.
“If anybody knows me, (like) my teammates, I never wanna miss a game. I’ve tried to play every game of every season that I can. I hate coming out, I hate getting subbed out, I hate missing (games). So I pushed it to the side, I didn’t go get it checked out before the All-Star break.”
Eight weeks passed, and it was only until the play-in game did Sang push for Tatum to get his wrist looked at before the Celtics first round matchup was decided. The scans of his wrist revealed Tatum had been playing through a fracture. “It showed that I had a non-displaced fracture in my wrist. It was small, but it was still a non-displaced chip.”
The scan also revealed that it had partially healed as the bone grew over the chip, but the wear and tear of constantly getting hit or falling on it was causing significant pain. Tatum had essentially been playing with a fracture in his wrist for roughly two months before finally getting his injury diagnosed, but only until Boston’s series against Milwaukee did it seriously flare up again.
“There was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3,” said Tatum. “I dunked it, and Giannis chased me down. He fouled me, and I fell into the crowd. That was the most painful it’s been since that day that hurt it. I ended up getting a cortisone shot in my wrist that night.”
Tatum and the team kept the injury under wraps, which was difficult since he needed to keep it wrapped or braced whenever he wasn’t on the court. “After each game, I would have to wear a brace to shootaround, and I would take it off before the cameras saw me. Pregame, taking my nap, I’d have to put it back on, just to make sure it was stable.”
The injury was well kept, and Tatum affirmed that if he was on the floor, nothing else mattered. “Everybody’s banged up, a little hurt. If you’re injured, then you can’t play. But that was the whole reason why I was scared to get an MRI because I was like ‘something is wrong, but I don’t want anyone to tell me I can’t play.’” Tatum said that the wrist is all good now after giving it time to heal and resting it properly in the offseason.
Be sure to give the whole interview a listen, as Tatum opens up about the viral videos and photos of his workout with Kevin Durant as well as recovering in the aftermath of losing in The Finals.