Jae Crowder’s high ankle sprain injury continues to heal, with a goal to return against Portland on Thursday remaining his target.
Although the initial timetable indicated he would be out at least two weeks (he suffered the injury on March 11 against Houston), Crowder thought there was a possibility that he might be out until the postseason.
“Days after and I was still sore, usually soreness goes away pretty fast,” Crowder told reporters prior to Boston’s practice on Wednesday. “I was still sore three days after. I was thinking it would take longer than I expected.”
Throughout the period of time with the injury, Crowder said he was getting treatments twice a day.
And as the swelling around his ankle began to dissipate, his confidence in returning sooner rather than later only grew.
Tuesday was an off-day for the Celtics, but Crowder spent it working with the assistant coaches doing individual and some two-on-two work.
For Crowder, today’s practice will be a major factor in determining whether he will suit up and play against the Blazers.
When asked what he’s looking for from practice today, Crowder said, “If I can compete at a level I’m capable of competing at. I don’t want to be a liability when I get back out there. I don’t want to be forcing myself out there because mentally I want to; I want to react to my body and see what it likes.”
Crowder said he will “push it to the limit” in practice today, and will have a pretty good feel for whether he can play when he wakes up on Thursday morning.
“If it swells up on me overnight or if I wake up and can barely walk, of course I’m not going to be able to go,” Crowder said. “We’ll see.”
If Crowder can’t play, look for Evan Turner to remain in the starting lineup.
“Jae’s an integral part to what we try to do. Everybody in our lineups and rotations are very important,” Turner told reporters. “First unit and second unit.”
The Celtics are 4-4 since Crowder’s injury.