After suffering a high ankle sprain during a matchup in the TD Garden with the Houston Rockets 11 days ago, Jae Crowder is feeling better:
The swingman was shelved for "two weeks minimum" according to Brad Stevens, but he has felt as though he's ahead of schedule. In spite of that, Stevens is still reluctant to let Crowder back onto the hardwood so soon.Jae Crowder left the TD Garden still wearing a walking boot. Asked how he was feeling, he said, "Much better, much better."— James Toscano (@Jimmy_Toscano) March 22, 2016
Stevens said the plan is to take Jae Crowder on Western Conference road trip. Not sure when he'll return though.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 21, 2016
As of right now, it doesn't look like Crowder will be back on the court in time for Wednesday night's matchup with the Toronto Raptors but it's possible Saturday's visit to Phoenix could be a chance for him to get back in the hang of things. If he doesn't play in Phoenix, travelling with the team for a long Western Conference swing could see him come off the bench in the latter stages of the road trip.More Brad Stevens on Jae Crowder: "He said he’s feeling better but there’s a big difference between that and playing a game."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 21, 2016
It's been clear how valuable Crowder's contributions are both on offense and defense with the Celtics going 2-3 in his absence. In spite of shooting woes that plagued him leading up to his injury, Crowder shot a respectable .348 from behind the arc while averaging 14.4 points/game, 5.1 reb/game, and 1.77 steals/game.
The C's have faced off against some of the best forwards in the NBA since Jae went down. His absence on the defensive end has hurt Boston tremendously. Especially with a big road trip coming up which includes clashes with the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, Crowder's presence could drastically change the outcomes of both games.
Topher Lane is on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports. Topher Lane 3/22/2016 12:22:00 PM Tweet Edit