A freak play in the third quarter of a D-League game Wednesday left Celtics rookie James Young with muscular damage in his right shoulder that will force him to sit out for at least two weeks.
Young suffered a subluxation in his shoulder trying to catch an outlet pass in the third quarter of the Maine Red Claws’ 117-87 win over Delaware. He hit the floor immediately, and when he initially felt the pain, Young assumed the worst.
“The way that I first felt it pop out, I thought I knew it was going to be some time,” Young said. “I thought it was going to be longer, but they said two weeks. So that’s a good thing. Then I’ll see how it goes from there.”
Young will rehab the shoulder and be evaluated in two weeks.
“There was a little, and I don’t want to mis-state it, but there was a little bit of muscular damage that he can rehab hopefully without having to have surgery,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “So he’s going to be rehabbing over the next couple weeks and then we’ll re-evaluate it.”
Bad luck has found Young early in his career. He sustained a concussion in a car crash in June that forced him to miss predraft workouts, a hamstring injury sidelined him for much of training camp, and an illness in the family forced him to be away from the team early in the regular season.
“Obviously, the hamstring and the car accident were unfortunate,” Stevens said. “This happens throughout the course of a game, whether if it happens in our practice, in our game, or [Maine’s] game. It’s unfortunate, but hopefully he can rehab it and get it better and be good to go.”
Young has logged only five games and 18 total minutes with the Celtics. But in five games with the Red Claws, he’s averaging 22.4 points and 32.1 minutes.
“The thing that we all see when we see James is just his savvy and fluidity,” Stevens said. “The game comes pretty easy to him. The next step for James, in my opinion, is getting strong enough and getting used to the defensive system in the NBA so that he can guard either a 2 or a 3. Whichever comes first, great, but night in, night out in this league, those are hard positions to guard.”
Young said he’s getting his 6-foot-6-inch, 215-pound frame ready for the rigors of the NBA, which he knew would be a challenge when he left Kentucky after his freshman year.
“I’ve always been kind of littler than everybody on the team, so I knew physically I wasn’t ready,” Young said. “But I’ve been hitting the gym a lot. I know it’s going to take a few years to get to where I need to be, but I’m just pushing it here.”
Once this run of setbacks is out of the way, he said, he expects to be ready to continue building.
“I know my time is going to come,” Young said. “I’m not worried about anything. Just getting better, getting my body stronger, and when my time comes, just go out there and perform to the best of my abilities.”
He’s been around
It was only a year ago that Stevens was in Derek Fisher’s position, going through the growing pains of his first season as an NBA head coach.
But their circumstances are different. All of Stevens’s experience came at the college level at Butler, while Fisher had 18 years of NBA experience on his résumé.
How much that experience helps depends on the situation, Fisher said.
“I think Brad’s obviously done an amazing job without NBA experience as a player or coach,” said Fisher. “He understands the game, he knows what he’s doing out there and I think his team has responded well to him.
“With me, in terms of my experience, hopefully I can relate to them and talk to them and communicate with them in a way that they can appreciate, and then ultimately, we just want to win. So going to keep searching for ways until we do so.”
Ill Bradley sits
A fever kept Avery Bradley out of Friday’s 101-95 loss to the Knicks. He missed shootaround, came to the arena to get checked out, and was sent home to rest. “He was sick today,” Stevens said. “Just came in, had a fever, and [trainer] Ed Lacerte sent him home.” It’s the first game Bradley’s missed this season . . . Knicks guard Iman Shumpert dislocated his left shoulder after a collision with Jeff Green in the second quarter and did not return . . . There were questions about whether Carmelo Anthony (knee) and J.R. Smith (heel, index finger) would be available for New York Friday night. Anthony was able to make his 22d start of the season, but Smith sat out for the second straight game. “He was really sore,” Fisher said, adding that Smith would be evaluated following the game.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.