The Boston Celtics were down a key reserve for Wednesday night's showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers and lost another important player during the game.
But Danny Ainge seems optimistic about both players' injuries.
The Celtics' president of basketball operations first shared an update Thursday morning on big man Aron Baynes, who suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain Wednesday night in Boston's loss to Philly.
"I don't know. It's day-to-day," Ainge said during his weekly interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher & Rich." "I don't think it was a terribly bad ankle sprain. I don't think it's going to be three weeks, but I think that it's just a day-to-day injury.
"We'll obviously be careful. We need everybody healthy by playoffs."
While Ainge didn't offer a specific timeline, it's good news that he believes Baynes' injury is more day-to-day. NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg provided some historical context for the big man's sprained ankle Wednesday night, and with Boston's final regular season game still 18 days away, it's certainly possible Baynes returns for the playoffs.
Brad Stevens said Aron Baynes has a Grade 2 ankle sprain.— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) March 21, 2019
A recent Grade 2 comp would be Kyle Anderson in January. Missed 15 days before returning to games (after team set 2-4 week recovery)
If it’s a similar timeline for Baynes, it still pushes him close to start of playoffs.
Ainge also had positive news about forward Gordon Hayward, who is in the NBA's concussion protocol after taking a shot to the head Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks.
"I did speak with Gordon, and it looks like Gordon is getting well and he's going through the protocol," Ainge said Thursday. "So, my guess is he'll either play Saturday or Sunday. He'll play this weekend; I'm not exactly sure when he'll play."
Getting Hayward back for Saturday's game in Charlotte or Sunday's home contest against the San Antonio Spurs obviously would benefit the Celtics, who now have lost two straight as they jockey for playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
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