PLYMOUTH , Mass. — Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he expects the team at full strength when training camp opens next week.
Stevens then immediately searched for wood to knock on while detailing some of the minor maladies that his players are nursing before camp opens on October 1.
Touching on a handful of players, Stevens noted that:
* Jayson Tatum is “fine,” after suffering a sprained ankle early in FIBA play. “He’s ready to go, from what I've been told,” said Stevens. "I don't know if he will do anything 5-on-5 this week [in open gym] but we anticipate no issues when camp starts next week.”
* Kemba Walker has "been here since he got back,” after sitting out the final game of Team USA play. Added Stevens: "We've seen [Walker] almost every day. Last week, he did a lot less, obviously, because he was just getting worked on, but he was on the court today. I don't think he ended up playing 5-on-5 but he looks good. I think, once the season hits, he will be ready to roll.”
* Romeo Langford “has been fine for about a month,” while recovering from surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb. Langford, Boston’s top pick in this year’s draft, missed summer league while rehabbing.
* Tacko Fall “should be cleared by tomorrow.” Stevens said the camp invitee and roster hopeful twisted his knee in 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 work recently. Added Stevens: "I don’t know if we’ll have him do anything, per se, until he gets on the court next week against live competition.”
Stevens also noted that “a couple of the other guys I heard are going to be back here [Tuesday].” That group likely includes Marcus Smart, who was nursing calf/quad and finger ailments by the end of the World Cup. Said Stevens: "We wanted all those guys to get off their feet. It's not as much the physical — because our guys have been working out here. It's more the travel and the toll of being gone for 39 days. They needed to get away for a minute before they came back to join us.”
Stevens did express excitement about having everyone ready to roll for the start of camp, particularly given the short ramp to the start of regular-season games.
“The preseason is so short with the three weeks now, when you start on the 1st and you play the 23rd,” said Stevens. "It was the same way, each of last couple years, I think. You can’t come to camp, like maybe in the past, where you’d come to camp to get in shape. You gotta be ready to roll. I think it’s one of the benefits of the guys that played overseas because they got a lot of time, and conditioning.
"Then you just gotta be mentally prepared for the games to be right around the corner. Have a couple warm-up games and practice games to get our legs underneath us and then we go right into the lion’s den early. So it should be a lot of fun. I think our guys are excited to get ready and get after it.”
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