Kelly Olynyk Injury: Updates on Celtics Forward's Shoulder and Return

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

Jan 15, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) reacts after his three point basket against the Phoenix Suns in the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk was forced to visit a hospital to undergo testing after he suffered a partial separation of his right shoulder on Feb. 10 against the Los Angeles Clippers. His exact return date has yet to be announced.

Continue for updates.

Stevens Comments on Olynyk's Recovery

Tuesday, March 15

"The only person that knows how he feels is him. You don't want him playing tentative," head coach Brad Stevens told reporters on Tuesday.

"I’ve only talked to him real briefly after we just did a shootaround, so we didn’t do a whole lot. But he shot the ball, and he seemed to feel more comfortable with extending his range as the day went on. So we’ll see," Stevens said on March 8, via ESPN's Chris Forsberg.

Olynyk Comments on Recovery

Tuesday, March 8

"[The shoulder is] a little sore, a little stiff," Olynyk said, via Forsberg. "I'd say it's still not exactly where I want it to be yet but it's definitely on the right path so we'll see how it responds."

Ainge Comments on Olynyk's Potential Return

Thursday, Feb. 25

“He’s getting better," Danny Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations, told reporters. "We don’t need to do any surgery. There’s no tear. He’s still [two to three] weeks away.”

Stevens Comments on Olynyk's Injury

Wednesday, Feb. 10

Stevens said "Olynyk suffered a subluxation of his right shoulder and that he was taken to New England Baptist Hospital for X-rays," according to Darren Hartwell of NESN.com.

Olynyk an Essential Big Man for Undersized Celtics 

Olynyk's been a steady offensive presence for the Celtics since entering the league in 2013. Although his scoring totals didn't blow expectations away over the past two seasons, Olynyk posted above-average player efficiency ratings on an evolving team led by Stevens. 

This season, Olynyk has flashed loads of promise, averaging 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds on 46.1 percent shooting from the field and 41.3 percent shooting from three. 

Stevens discussed Olynyk's evolution as a scorer and key offensive cog in December, per Forsberg

We have to [keep Olynyk aggressive]. We've talked about it. If we’re going to be at our very best, we’re getting a lot of good play from our bigs. And he brings something different with his ability to really stretch the floor, not only from the 3-point line shooting it but also some of his ability to make plays off the bounce when he catches it outside the arc. We need him to continue to play well for us to be a good team.

The good news for Boston is it has the depth necessary to withstand Olynyk's absence—although none of the alternatives can stretch the floor quite like the 24-year-old. 

Although Amir Johnson is undersized (6'9", 240 lbs), he's strong and disciplined enough to play center in smaller lineups that don't feature Tyler Zeller. Furthermore, Stevens can pivot to Jared Sullinger, if necessary, should he decide to tinker with some other five-man units. 

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com


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