Boston Celtics fans might not see Tristan Thompson in action right away.
The newcomer strained his hamstring during an offseason workout, limiting him in practice as a result. Head coach Brad Stevens told reporters Saturday that Thompson has yet to participate in a team workout, though he has done some walkthroughs on both ends, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
At this point, Stevens isn’t sure Thompson will be good to go for Opening Night, which is less than two weeks away.
“I don’t know what that means with regard to Dec. 23,” he said, via Bontemps. “Every day that passes I’d say that becomes more unlikely.”
Injury isn’t the only thing Thompson must overcome entering the 2020-21 season. He’s much more out of practice than the C’s are after the Cleveland Cavaliers failed to qualify for the NBA bubble this summer. So, his 2019-20 season effectively ended in March.
That’s a long time for a player to be off the court, something Stevens also acknowledged.
“He didn’t play in the bubble, so there will be a ramp up period for him whenever he is able to go live in practice,” Stevens said, “and I’m assuming it won’t be just one of those situations where you’re available one day and you get a good practice in and you can play. I think it’ll be a little more than that.”
Clearly, Thompson has plenty to work on ahead of the new season. But with some hard work on his part and a little patience from all parties, he certainly could be a difference-maker down the line.
The C’s, by the way, kick things off in 11 days against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden.