fb-pixel Skip to main content

Knee bruise will sideline Isaiah Thomas this weekend

Isaiah Thomas was hurt in Wednesday’s win over Minnesota.barry chin/globe staff

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas will miss games against the Nets and 76ers this weekend because of a bone bruise on his right knee.

Thomas suffered the injury with eight minutes left in the third quarter of the Celtics’ 117-104 win over the Timberwolves Wednesday when he drove to the basket for a layup attempt and collided with Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Thomas said in a text message Thursday that after he fell to the floor, Towns stepped on his right foot and twisted his knee, and then it twisted some more after Towns fell on him.

“I’ll be fine,” Thomas said in a text.


Thomas remained in the game and played 31 minutes and scored 27 points, and there was no mention of his injury when he met with reporters afterward. Thomas complained of some soreness to the team’s medical staff Wednesday night and underwent X-rays, and was ultimately diagnosed with the bone bruise.

His status beyond this weekend is unclear, but a Celtics spokesman said the team is simply taking a precautionary measure and that Thomas is “day-to-day.” He will likely be reevaluated on Monday.

The fact that the Nets and 76ers have a combined record of 36-97 could have made the decision a bit easier, too.

On Wednesday, Thomas spoke excitedly about the team’s potential now that it finally had a full and healthy roster.

“We haven’t been together that much,” Thomas said. “We go together four, five games and somebody will get hurt or go down, and then we’ll go another four or five games together.

“So I’m glad we could get a good stretch of games together. Hopefully everyone will stay healthy and we can finish the season off right.”

The Celtics have played just 28 games this season with their regular starting lineup of Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford, and Amir Johnson. They are 21-7 in those games, and that five-man group has outscored opponents by an average of 10.3 points per 100 possessions.


Thomas missed four games in December because of a groin injury. The Celtics walloped the Magic by 30 points in the first game before losing three in a row to the Raptors, Thunder, and Spurs. Marcus Smart started all four games in place of Thomas.

The Celtics have 14 games remaining and entered Thursday night trailing first-place Cleveland by two games. They also lead the third-place Wizards by 1½ games. Thomas, who last month played in his second straight All-Star Game, is averaging 29.2 points and 6 assists per game.

The Celtics also recalled point guard Demetrius Jackson from the Maine Red Claws Thursday.

Standing by

Ante Zizic, who was selected by the Celtics with the 23d pick of last June’s draft, has had a strong season playing for the Euroleague club Darussafaka Dogus. The 6-foot-10-inch center is averaging 9.7 points and 7.1 rebounds over 23 minutes per game.

The Celtics have said they plan to sign Zizic in July, and he is eager to join his new team. For now, he has simply been watching games online and catching highlights when he can. He said he has been impressed by Thomas and Horford in particular.

“Isaiah Thomas, he is a great player,” Zizic said. “He puts whole team on his shoulders. He can do everything. He can score, he can assist, and I am really happy because maybe he is going to be my teammate next season. But right now he is unbelievable. He’s really unbelievable.”


Zizic thinks he can benefit from playing with Horford.

“He is an experienced guy,” Zizic said, “and I think playing with him and at practice, of course he can help me with some suggestions, show me some moves, so of course I can learn from him.”

Zizic was in Boston briefly last June before returning to Europe but is mostly unfamiliar with the city.

“But I talk with many guys and they talk only good things about Boston, about the city and everything,” Zizic said. “The fans like sports, especially basketball. Gyms are always full of fans, and they live for basketball.”

In the fold

Celtics draft pick Guerschon Yabusele signed with the Red Claws Thursday.

Yabusele, the 16th overall pick last June, played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association this season and averaged 20.9 points and 9.4 rebounds.

The forward sprained his ankle during the Sharks’ opening-round playoff series two weeks ago and said he would be reevaluated by the Celtics medical staff before determining how much he would play for the Red Claws this season, if at all.

Maine’s final regular-season game is scheduled for April 1.

Yabusele, who attended the Celtics-Timberwolves game Wednesday, is expected to play for Boston’s summer league team this year.

Going nowhere

Indiana University fired head coach Tom Crean Thursday, almost instantly leading to speculation that the Hoosiers could pursue Brad Stevens. But Stevens, who signed a contract extension with the Celtics last summer, reiterated Wednesday night that he will not be in the mix for any college jobs. “I think ultimately I’m going to be here,” Stevens said. “I think that’s pretty well known.”


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