Celtics' Jayson Tatum Doesn't Anticipate Surgery on Shoulder Injury After NBA Finals

Erin WalshJune 17, 2022

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 16: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics reacts against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

It appears Jayson Tatum won't need offseason shoulder surgery.

The Boston Celtics star told reporters after a 103-90 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals that he doesn't anticipate he'll need to undergo a procedure, noting he was struggling with a nerve issue through the latter half of the postseason.

Tatum suffered the shoulder injury in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat and was frequently seen grabbing his arm throughout the remainder of the series and into the NBA Finals.

At the time, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said the injury was just a stinger. Tatum also noted that his neck "got caught in a weird position" on the play that he suffered the injury, so it's unsurprising that it appears to be a nerve issue.

"Obviously, I went down. I felt some pain and discomfort in my neck and down my arm," Tatum told reporters after Game 3 of the ECF. "Went and got it checked on. I started to gain some feeling back, got it checked by the doctors and decided to give it a go."

Tatum undoubtedly struggled against the Warriors in the Finals, though it's unclear if the shoulder ailment played a role in his scoring inefficiencies or if the mental aspect was more of a factor.

The 24-year-old entered Thursday's Game 6 averaging 23.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.0 assists while shooting 37.3 percent from the floor and 47.5 percent from deep through the first five games of the series.

In Game 6, Tatum finished with just 13 points, three rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block on 6-of-18 shooting from the floor and 1-of-4 from deep. He also had five turnovers.

While Tatum may not need surgery, he'll get some much-needed rest this summer before returning to the court in pursuit of another Finals run in 2022-23.