LOS ANGELES — Boston Celtics second-year forward Jayson Tatum will miss the first game of his NBA career due to injury when he sits out Monday’s visit to the Los Angeles Clippers due to right shoulder soreness.
Tatum said the shoulder has been nagging him since Tuesday’s trip-opening win against Golden State and he informed trainers on Sunday. Tatum said he’s not overly concerned and hopes to play Thursday when the team returns from the west coast.
"It’s been bothering me a little bit lately,” Tatum said before Boston’s morning shootaround on the campus of UCLA. "I bruised it when we played Golden State, and kind of hit it again when we played [in Sacramento], so it’s been kind of lingering a little bit. Nothing too major.
“It's more just being cautious,” added Tatum, suggesting the team wants to wait until he’s 100 percent. "Get some treatment until it feels all the way there.”
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the team is exercising caution.
"He said he told our training staff [Sunday] that it had been sore since the Golden State game, and that was the first time he said anything,” said Stevens. “Just being cautious with him, making sure that, obviously, with 15 games left that he feels great heading into the stretch run.”
Stevens did not announce who would start in Tatum’s place against the Clippers.
Tatum sat out two games at the end of the regular season last year to rest before the playoffs. This is the first time an injury will sideline the otherwise durable forward.
"I wanted to play all 82, but missing one isn’t too bad,” said Tatum.
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