Payton Pritchard has been a pleasant surprised for the Boston Celtics so far this season, showing that his high-pace and ballhandling skills certainly translate from college to the professionals.
But Monday night as they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Celtics lost their promising rookie.
Pritchard was ruled out for the remainder of the game after teammate Jaylen Brown fell into his right knee, and the team anticipates he’ll be out at least two weeks.
Coach Brad Stevens didn’t have much of an update on the timetable in his media availability Friday, but talking to reporters for the first time since his injury, Pritchard revealed he thought the worst when he went down.
“The injury I had, they said it can feel like a pop,” Pritchard said. “But that was my first knee injury ever so obviously when I get hit, and feeling like it popped and the pain, instantly I go to the worst. Your mind is like, ‘oh shoot I’m done, I’m done for however long.’ So obviously you start to not necessarily panic, but that was the first time it happened to me. So that was my thought process at the time.”
Fortunately, the diagnosis isn’t serious and Pritchard should soon return to the lineup. When that will be, though, is to be determined.
“As far as a timetable goes, really it’s going to be when I feel the best and our staff feels like I’m able to go out there and go 100%. That’s the biggest thing,” Pritchard said. “I’m not going to go out there if I’m only going to be 80-90%. I want to be back fully.”
Boston certainly will miss the energy Pritchard brought on both ends of the floor, especially with starting point guard Kemba Walker still on a minutes restriction as he works his way back from his own knee injury.
In 14 games, Pritchard has averaged 7.7 points, 2.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game.