MILWAUKEE — Boston Celtics big man Aron Baynes seemed to avoid more serious injury when he rolled his left ankle while landing awkwardly trying to defend a shot attempt late in the third quarter of Sunday’s Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Baynes limped off the court in obvious pain but the team announced in the fourth quarter that he was available to return.
Baynes had a similar left ankle injury scare in late March after limping off against the Philadelphia 76ers. He missed just one game then but has battled the injury bug all season.
Baynes missed 31 regular-season games this year due to a variety of injuries including a broken finger and some foot troubles.
Baynes, who was the starter late in the regular season and in the first round against the Pacers, shuffled to a reserve role for Sunday’s Game 1 against the Bucks, allowing the Celtics to go small in hopes of attacking Milwaukee’s front line. Baynes was key, however, in defending Giannis Antetokounmpo any time Al Horford came off the floor, especially after Horford picked up a couple early fouls.
Without Baynes, the Celtics deployed second-year big man Daniel Theis, who has struggled at times against bigs like Antetokounmpo and was expected to player a lesser role in this series.
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