The Boston Celtics added injury to insult in Charlotte on Saturday night.
Center Robert Williams III exited with a back contusion after suffering a hard fall in the second quarter, while forward Jayson Tatum also injured his back late in Boston's 124-117 loss to the Hornets.
After the game, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens provided updates on both players and suggested Williams could be sidelined for some time.
"I'm guessing we're looking at a Jaylen (Brown) timeframe from this year, at least," Stevens said of Williams.
Brown injured his back in a similar fashion in a March 2018 game against the Minnesota and missed Boston's next six games during a two-plus-week absence.
A similar timetable for Williams, who made his first career NBA start Saturday night, would peg his return right around the end of the regular season. It's tough timing for Boston, as big men Al Horford and Aron Baynes both are nursing injuries that kept them out Saturday night.
Stevens said Tatum is "being looked at for the same thing" as Williams, adding he didn't know the severity of Tatum's injury. Tatum's fall didn't look as bad as Williams', but he's the Celtics' second-leading scorer and would be a tough loss even if he only misses a game or two.
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