Celtics' Jayson Tatum Says He May Need Surgery for Wrist Injury During Offseason

Adam WellsJanuary 23, 2023

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 19: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics dribbles downcourt during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on January 19, 2023 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 Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum revealed that he's been playing through a wrist injury that could require offseason surgery.

While speaking to reporters Monday, Tatum didn't rule out the possibility of a procedure but noted it's not something that will be addressed during the regular season.

CelticsBlog @celticsblog

Jayson Tatum on possible offseason wrist surgery: <br><br>"Maybe. I don't want to say yes and I don't want to say no. It's something we'll look at once the season is over." <a href="https://t.co/DVWekMQ2iN">https://t.co/DVWekMQ2iN</a>

Tatum has missed three games so far this season. He sat out the Celtics' Nov. 27 win over the Washington Wizards with a sprained ankle and Dec. 18 loss to the Orlando Magic for personal reasons.

The Celtics announced Tatum would miss their Jan. 21 game against the Toronto Raptors because of his wrist injury. While it appeared to be just a precautionary measure after he played 48 minutes in a 121-118 overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors, his revelation on Monday indicates there's a deeper issue.

Any physical ailment for Tatum is going to cause a lot of panic around Boston, however, despite playing with the injury, the 24-year-old is on the short list of MVP candidates this season. He is averaging a career-high 31.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

Injuries have never been a big problem for Tatum in his NBA career. He hasn't missed more than eight games in a season in each of the previous five years.

Boston has been the best team in the NBA basically since the start of the regular season. Its 35-12 record is 4.5 games clear of the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

If Tatum is forced to miss time because of the injury, the Celtics should do just fine managing without him. Jaylen Brown will likely be the go-to scoring option on offense and Grant Williams would likely take Tatum's spot in the starting lineup. The 24-year-old role player is having a solid season with 9.1 points per game on 40.9 percent shooting from three-point range.