Jae Crowder is feeling better, but return date remains unclear

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.
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.

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.