ORLANDO — Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Wednesday that it’s unclear whether Al Horford will be cleared to return in time for next Wednesday’s season opener against the Knicks after testing positive for COVID-19.
Udoka said that Horford tested positive on Monday, and players are required to quarantine for 10 days and then produce two negative tests before returning. Wednesday’s game in New York would be the 10th day since Horford’s initial test.
“Timeline-wise,” Udoka said, “it’s going to be very close.”
But Udoka added that forward Jaylen Brown, who has been sidelined since testing positive for COVID-19 last Friday, should “definitely” be back in time for the opener. Most of all, Udoka is eager to have both players fully healthy.
“Al’s doing okay,” Udoka said. “Obviously, nobody wants to be in this situation, so there’s no real positive about it. But health-wise overall, he’s doing okay.”
The Celtics have said that Brown is asymptomatic.
Udoka said Boston’s coaches have been in frequent contact with both players, and that they’ll be able to take part in practices virtually. But their absences have slowed Boston’s progress a bit.
“I guess the silver lining is that when it’s happening … in the preseason,” Udoka said. “You’re missing games where it doesn’t officially count, but it still breaks the rhythm of some of the things that we’ve done over the first few weeks, and it’s not good overall. But it gives other guys the opportunity to get some run in there, see different lineups, and see what some of the young guys can do.”