Al Horford will likely miss a few more games with left knee pain
WASHINGTON — Celtics forward Al Horford will likely miss a few more games because of the pain he is dealing with in his left knee. Coach Brad Stevens said Horford has been officially diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome, and the primary treatment is rest and physical therapy.
Horford has missed three games, last playing Dec. 1 against the Timberwolves. He and Stevens said the team is erring on the side of caution and hoping the knee will heal now so it is not an issue throughout the season.
“We’ve been working through it for a while now, but now that we can really focus on it, just continue to do a lot of strength work around the quad and hips, things to do to help me with the knee,” Horford said Wednesday morning, as the Celtics prepared for their game against the Wizards. “And the soft tissue work.
“Just trying to focus on those things to put me in the best position for when I’m ready to come back.”
The Celtics have won all three games without Horford, and they remain in their weakest stretch of competition this season, with their next four opponents having a combined record of 34-72.
“He’s going to be out a little bit, but not too long,” Stevens said, “and just to strengthen and get feeling a lot better. A little bit similar to [Marcus] Morris last year, and make sure that he feels great instead of going back and forth like this.”
Last season Morris missed the first eight games with left knee pain, and it remained a bit of a nuisance even after he returned, as he sat out 11 of 13 games during a December stretch.
“This is something that I don’t think any of us want it to linger or continue,” Horford said, “and I think that as much as I want to be on the floor, I do see the big picture. So this is the time to do it.”
Celtics forward Gordon Hayward will miss his second consecutive game due with an illness. He did not travel with the team to Washington.
Kyrie Irving, who missed Monday’s game against the Pelicans with a sore shoulder, has been cleared to play against the Wizards. Irving said his issue is not serious and he did not need any medical testing, but he is not quite at 100 percent.
“It’s not too often you get a day to just rest,” he said, “so I’ll take it.”
Aron Baynes, still recovering from a sprained ankle, is questionable for Wednesday’s game.
Wizards at a glance
■ When, where: Wednesday, 7 p.m., at Capital One Arena, Washington.
■ TV, radio: NBCSB, WBZ-FM 98.5.
■ Scoring: Bradley Beal 22.9, John Wall 20.4, Kelly Oubre 12.7.
■ Rebounding: Otto Porter 5.6, Markieff Morris 5.3, Jeff Green 4.6.
■ Assists: Wall 8.3, Beal 4.3, Tomas Satoransky 3.0.
■ Head to head: This is the first of three meetings. The Celtics went 1-3 vs. the Wizards last year.
■ Miscellany: Dwight Howard (back surgery) is out indefinitely . . . Wall (heel) and Porter (knee) are questionable . . . Washington allows the second-most points per game (116.4) and ranks 29th in opponents’ 3-point shooting (37.3).