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Celtics’ Tyler Zeller starting to feel good after illness

After suffering with dizziness and disorientation because of an illness, Celtics center Tyler Zeller has made a limited return to practice. file/charles krupa/associated press

When Tyler Zeller was hospitalized on Jan. 1 because of a sinus infection, it was assumed he would recover in a few days and rejoin the team. But days turned to weeks, and Zeller began to feel dizzy and disoriented and had no real idea what was happening.

“It was very weird,” Zeller said Monday. “When you get dizzy or disoriented two or three days in a row, you kind of start to make things up in your mind. At one point in time I told my wife, ‘I just want to know what it is. I don’t care what it is, I just want to know so I can figure out what the timeline is, what we’re doing, all this stuff.’ Thankfully, it was the best-case scenario where it wasn’t anything serious.”


Zeller said he was mostly treated with antibiotics and he received intravenous fluids, and then he just had to wait patiently to return to normal. He underwent a battery of tests to find out if his condition was something more serious, and was relieved to find out it was not.

“It’s feeling better,” he said. “Day by day, definitely feeling better. Finally starting to progress to basketball activities. I was able to do some of practice yesterday. I don’t know what the timeline is. It’s kind of a day-by-day thing.”

Zeller said that while his dizziness was certainly concerning, it was mostly an issue when he tried to play basketball.

“You’re snapping your head around trying to make quick reads, trying to do a lot of things,” he said. “Split-second decisions were very difficult. As far as just walking around and stuff, I was mostly fine. But it was a little disorienting trying to make all those reads.

“We didn’t have any scares about it being season-ending or months of recovery or anything like that. It was very weird, but it finally played out and I’m starting to feel good.”


Bradley returns

Celtics guard Avery Bradley returned on Monday after missing four games with a strained Achilles’ tendon.

Bradley suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Celtics’ Jan. 6 win over the 76ers. He said head trainer Ed Lacerte told him then it would be best to sit for the rest of that game.

“But we had one more quarter and I wanted to win the game,” Bradley said, “so I kept playing.”

Bradley, who did not travel with the team for its Friday game in Atlanta, said he was originally scheduled to take part in just part of Sunday’s practice, but Bradley convinced them to let him complete the entire session. He wanted to see how he performed when playing against an opponent at full speed. He said he was sore when he woke up on Monday, but felt better once he warmed up.

“I’m going to continue to be smart about it, getting my treatment,” Bradley said. “I just have to listen to my body and the medical staff.”

Bradley had 5 points in 32:45.

Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk, who suffered a mild ankle sprain when he was accidentally tripped by a child at Sunday’s practice, played 26:11 on Monday and had 15 points and nine rebounds. Swingman James Young remains sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Brown speaks upBefore Monday’s game, Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown addressed the crowd about the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the legacy that King leaves behind. Brown described how King still impacts lives today despite his death nearly 50 years ago. He then recited several of his favorite quotes by the civil rights activist.

Brown said he took a class on student activism while he was a freshman at Cal-Berkeley last year and remembered some of the King quotes from a paper he had written about a student rights movement.


Brown’s brief speech Monday received a loud ovation from the TD Garden crowd. Celtics coach Brad Stevens joked that Brown went over his allotted time.

“But I wish he would have kept going,” Stevens said.

Brown made it clear there should be no time limits when discussing important issues, or people like King.

“I think we should do more,” Brown said. “It should be more than one day. We should practice the things — he left things behind more than on the day he was killed or on the day he was born.”

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown took flight against the Hornets’ Spencer Hawes in the first quarter.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Billboard promo

The NBA All-Star fan voting was set to close at 11:59 p.m. on Monday night. And although Bradley was in just 10th place among guards in the most recent returns, it was not for a lack of trying in Austin, Texas. Bradley said his friend Nate Paul, a fellow University of Texas alumnus, purchased a billboard promoting Bradley’s election as a starter.

“It’s neat; it’s really neat,” Bradley said. “I thought it was cool that somebody showing that support. I live in Austin and going to UT, all the guys there, they support me. So I thought it was pretty cool.”

In the second round of voting returns released by the NBA, Bradley was in 10th with 64,157 votes. His backcourt mate, Isaiah Thomas, was in fourth place with 401,671.


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.