Stevens on Olynyk: 'Close to being back'

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that rookie forward/center Kelly Olynyk went through an individual workout on Friday and could return to game action next week.

Olynyk suffered what Stevens had dubbed a "significant" sprain of his right ankle during a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 23. He was expected to miss two weeks, which would have put him back on the court for Friday's visit from the Denver Nuggets, but needed additional time to heal. Olynyk will miss his seventh straight game on Friday, but Stevens said he could be back as early as Tuesday's visit to the Brooklyn Nets.

"From what I’ve been told, [Olynyk] went through an individual workout [Friday]," said Stevens. "He is going to, hopefully, feel good [Saturday] and go light in practice tomorrow. He’ll probably be out Sunday [vs. the New York Knicks]. He’ll be day-to-day starting next week. Tuesday might be a stretch, it might not be. I don’t know. But he’s close to being back."

Olynyk is averaging 7.5 points and 5.4 rebounds over 22.6 minutes per game in 14 appearances (six starts) this season. The Celtics are 4-2 in the six games he has missed. Stevens has noted that he's unsure how exactly he'll reinsert Olynyk into the rotation. The rookie had ascended back to a starting role before the injury, but could seemingly be eased back in a reserve role with Boston's starting frontcourt of Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass playing well (despite being undersized).