The Boston Celtics are in the midst of playing some of their most consistent basketball of the young season.
However, the team took a big hit on Wednesday when head coach Brad Stevens announced that forward Al Horford will miss at least the next three games while he deals with Patellofemoral pain syndrome in his left knee. Horford had sat out the team's previous two games before Wednesday's decision.
Al Horford is likely to miss the next week of games after being diagnosed with Patellofemoral pain syndrome in his left knee, Brad Stevens announced Wednesday morning.
Stevens, speaking to the media at Boston's shootaround ahead of tonight's matchup with the Wizards in D.C., said that the Celtics have dealt with similar injuries in the past and want to get Horford back to full strength before he returns to the lineup.
"He's going to be out a little bit, but not too long," the coach stated. "Just to strengthen him and get him feeling a lot better – a little bit similar to [Marcus] Morris last year – and make sure that he feels great instead of going in and out like this."
Horford is averaging 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc in 22 games this season. The big man last played against the New York Knicks on Dec. 6 when he scored 19 points and secured 12 rebounds. The 11-year veteran currently leads the team in boards and blocks (1.7) and has been a very consistent shooter for the team so far.
The Celtics play three games over the next four days, including Wednesday's contest against the Washington Wizards (7 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension). The team is being cautious and wants to make sure that Horford gets healthy rather than having the injury linger. Horford had previously only sat out two other games before his recent two-game absence due to this knee ailment.
While not having Horford in the lineup isn't a positive, the team does expect to have All-Star guard Kyrie Irving back after dealing with a sore right shoulder. Like Horford, Irving didn't suit up in Monday's win over the New Orleans Pelicans as Terry Rozier drew the start in his place.
Irving, who says his shoulder is OK, isn't currently being listed on the team's injury report and did admit that he plans to play against the Wizards on Wednesday. The Celtics are currently riding a six-game winning streak after a 113-100 triumph over the Pelicans on Monday. Now the team is focusing on trying to get healthy as the first half of the regular season rolls along.