BOSTON — The Boston Celtics are a wounded group.
Rookie center Daniel Theis is out for the season after knee surgery, forward Gordon Hayward likely is done for the season after ankle surgery and guard Marcus Smart won’t be back for the remainder of the regular season after right thumb surgery. Smart is expected to be out six to eight weeks.
If that wasn’t bad enough, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) and starting shooting guard Jaylen Brown (concussion) also are dealing with ailments.
Reports surfaced Tuesday that Irving is getting a second opinion on his left knee later this week, and C’s head coach Brad Stevens confirmed that to reporters before Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at TD Garden.
“Just continued soreness is what?s made the decision not to play tonight, made the decision not to go on the trip, and to seek outside counsel,” Stevens said of Irving. “But it?s not new pain, by any means, it?s not anything new. It?s continued soreness.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday evening that there still is “no structural damage” in Irving’s left knee.
Brown did some shooting a few hours before the game. Stevens said Brown is progressing, won’t play against the Thunder but could play during the upcoming road trip that begins Friday versus the Portland Trail Blazers.