WALTHAM — It’s reached the point where Celtics coach Brad Stevens is discussing injuries more than the next opponent or team strategies.
Before the Celtics practiced at their facility Friday, the first-year coach offered a full medical report, the most stunning news being a significant knee injury to Gerald Wallace that will cost the forward the rest of the season.
Stevens said Wallace has a torn meniscus, an injury that generally takes six weeks to heal after surgery, as well as bone spurs in his ankle. Wallace, 31, will discuss his options with the Celtics’ medical staff before deciding on a surgery date.
“Listen, a lot of teams go through injury and we’re going through our share right now and that’s just part of it,” team president Danny Ainge said. “It’s been very refreshing to have Gerald. He brings great energy to the game and great passion and intensity that I think our players and our fans feel. He will be missed.”
Stevens said forward Kelly Olynyk (sprained left big toe) is doubtful for Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers but could play Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors. Avery Bradley (sprained right ankle) will be re-evaluated late next week, according to Stevens, while center Vitor Faverani (left knee) may need exploratory surgery to determine his injury. He has missed the past month with swelling.
The Celtics signed swingman Chris Babb from their Development League affiliate in Maine. He was the team’s final cut in training camp as an undrafted rookie out of Iowa State. Babb, 24, averaged 12.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 33 games with the Red Claws.
“Chris earned it, don’t get me wrong,” Stevens said. “But I knew last night [about Wallace] and I wanted to talk with Gerald before I made any mention. It’s tough for him because that guy loves to play. He came into my office clearly down and he’s one of the toughest guys around in my opinion.”
Bogans staying put
Ainge said Keith Bogans, who was excused from the team Jan. 16 for personal reasons, won’t be bought out of his contract to create roster space. Bogans, who had to sign a three-year deal with the Celtics to facilitate the trade with the Brooklyn Nets last June, had two more nonguaranteed years on his contract, meaning his deal can be part of a trade package.
A team could acquire Bogans’s contract (which has about $10.5 million remaining) and then waive the veteran guard without financial repercussion. That key component is what is keeping him on the Celtics.
“In a normal situation he would go away but because that contract is valuable, we’re not letting it go,” Ainge said. “If we get desperate we may change that but his contract is valuable to us this summer.”
Sullinger: ‘I’m fine’
Jared Sullinger has missed the last three games after sustaining a concussion in the Feb. 21 loss to the Lakers. Sullinger has gone through the NBA-mandated tests and his last hurdle was practice Friday before being cleared.
He could play Saturday.
“I had to stay away from light pretty much for the first couple of days and now I’m fine,” he said. “I worked out [Thursday] with the bike test, checked out with the doctors, and then I gotta go through a practice to see how I feel. It wasn’t scary. [The Lakers’ Chris Kaman] got me good with an elbow and the next day I woke up with a headache.”
Passing on guard
Ainge acknowledged the Celtics had interest in former Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette, who agreed to a buyout this week and became a free agent. Ainge said he spoke with Fredette’s agent, Jeff Austin, about the possibility of the guard signing with Boston but it is no longer under consideration.
Fredette was the most prolific scorer at Brigham Young since Ainge 30 years earlier. He never found a consistent role with the Kings and new general manager Pete D’Alessandro opted to waive him.
“We’ve looked hard at Jimmer, watched him play a lot,” Ainge said. “We did have interest and do have interest in Jimmer but I’m not sure if it’s the right time for us and for him but I did talk to his representatives and looked into that as a possibility. I’m a fan of Jimmer. I think he’s a terrific kid and he can really score the ball.”
The Bulls and Cavaliers are among the teams most interested in Fredette. Ainge counted the Celtics out of the competition.
“With us, I don’t think [it’s going to happen],” Ainge said. “I don’t think it’s the right fit for us right now, and for him.”
For their March 14 home game against the Suns, the Celtics will wear replica uniforms from the 1946-47 team, the inaugural season of the Basketball Association of America. The white, T-shirt-style jersey has a green stripe down the sleeves, and the uniform includes a belt and high, striped socks.