Already behind schedule as a late arrival to camp, a knee injury will force Celtics forward Marcus Morris to miss the first 10 days of the year, according to Brad Stevens.
But on top of the injury, described as ‘right knee soreness’ out of the gate, newness to the C’s system is serving as another reason for Morris, who played 11 minutes in the team’s preseason, to take some extra time away from the floor, according to Stevens.
“He will most likely be out here for the coming week-plus and then we will re-evaluate after that,” Stevens said of Morris following Sunday afternoon’s practice in Waltham. “They’ve done all the testing and, structurally, the knee is in good shape. But I think it is a quick turnaround to get here last week and play in a regular-season game. It’s going to be a little bit of time probably before he hits the court again.”
Acquired from the Pistons in exchange for Avery Bradley and a second-round draft pick in a cost-cutting move that allowed the C’s to finalize a max contract with Gordon Hayward this past summer, the Celtics are not exactly concerned with the 28-year-old Morris’ knee just yet.
“He was able to go through everything. He’s actually structurally improved, he’s gotten stronger, feels better, but we just kind of felt like after watching him practice yesterday and then talking to him, that he still looks like he’s not quite full go, and so it’s better to be on the safe side,” Stevens acknowledged. “It’s a long year, he’s a really important part of our team, and so if he’s at 80 percent or 85 percent now, let’s get him to 100 instead of risking that getting lower or something you’re dealing with all year.”
Considered one of the better defensive matchups against LeBron James, the 6-foot-9 Morris averaged 14 points and 4.6 rebounds in 79 games for the Pistons last season.
With Morris out, it’s believed that the 19-year-old Jayson Tatum will get the nod in the C’s starting lineup with Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Hayward, and Al Horford.
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Source: GreenStreet Blog