Monday, October 25 2021

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka spoke with the press about the impact of losing the All-Star forward Jaylen Brown and veteran big man Al Horford to positive COVID-19 test results in the thick of the team’s 2021-22 slate of preseason games ahead of their second meeting with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

While not exactly “good” news, Udoka related that Brown is expected back for the start of the season with some luck, and there was a chance — though it would be far from certain — that Horford might join the team again as well if things went Boston’s way.

“It’s going to be very close,” he explained. “We’ll see what happens with that, but we should definitely have Jaylen back by then.”

The Celtics were among the hardest-hit teams in that regard last season, a fact not lost on Udoka. “Overall, I’ve seen the numbers this last year,” he explained, “it really his us hard this last year; I knew that coming in.”

“Obviously it’s a frustrating thing being that I dealt with it right before. The silver lining when it’s happening, if there is one, in the preseason you’re missing games where it doesn’t officially count, but … it breaks the rhythm of some of the things that we’ve done over the first few weeks.”

“It’s not good overall, but like I said, it gives other guys some opportunity to get some run in there, see different lineups and see what some of the young guys can do,” he added.

Health of course is indeed the priority moving forward, and one has to expect that the Celtics will be especially careful bringing both players back after the debacle that was last season.

But that Boston could potentially be at full strength to start the season is still something Celtics fans ought to be feeling a little relief about.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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