Folks have been making jokes on Twitter about Team USA being a preview of the Boston Celtics’ season. Several Celtics, including prominent players Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart, have led Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. To that end, Boston’s best assets carry the potential for injury.
On Tuesday, as the United States eked out an overtime win against Turkey, Tatum rolled his ankle. It came on a play late in the game when Tatum had just passed the ball off on a drive and was looking to crowd the lane for a potential rebound.
Naturally, the injury sent Celtics fans into a tizzy online, with many wondering what his status will be for the upcoming start of the NBA preseason.
Shortly after the United States’ win over Turkey, Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters that he had briefly exchange text messages with Tatum, and that his injury didn’t sound that bad.
Via Mass Live:
Speaking at the annual ABCD Hoop Dreams charity event tonight, Brad Stevens said the injury doesn’t seem serious at all.
“They’re going to do an X-Ray tomorrow morning, but the early indication is moderate ankle sprain,” Stevens said. “They’re going to be obviously cautious about it but USA Basketball has communicated greatly with us.”
Jayson Tatum also downplayed the severity of the injury right after the game.
“It feels better than when it first happened,” Tatum said. “I can walk a little bit. Obviously, it’s sore … just get some treatment and see how I feel.”
The NBA isn’t as bad as the NFL when it comes to preseason injuries wrecking the hopes of teams before the regular season even begins. Still, you can understand why Tatum’s ankle turn would worry Celtics fans, and why they’d want to know all the details they can get.
For now, we just have to wait until we get an update and trust that Tatum’s injury appears to be a run-of-the-mill ankle sprain.