BOSTON -- Boston Celtics swingman Jae Crowder will undergo an MRI on a sprained right ankle Saturday, but the team seemed optimistic that he avoided serious injury during Friday’s 102-98 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Crowder fell awkwardly to the floor after a fast-break layup with 9 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter and grimaced while running back up the floor. He tried to stay in the game, but soon retreated to the locker room with trainer Ed Lacerte.
The Celtics initially announced that Crowder might attempt to return, but he was soon ruled out for the game.
“I was on a fast break and I came down in an awkward way," said Crowder, who walked gingerly under his own power while departing the locker room. “I got up and I didn’t feel good. Come to find out I just sprained it.”
Crowder dubbed it a high ankle sprain.
“Jae sprained his ankle, twisted it in,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “He doesn’t have much swelling now, so it looks good. They’re going to do an MRI on it and figure out if there’s anything above what they think right now. But I got mostly positive vibes as I was talking to him and then also to our doctors and trainers that it won’t be a long-term thing. But we’ll see.”
Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas admitted the loss of Crowder affected Boston, which saw its 14-game home winning streak snapped by the Rockets.
"It affects us because he’s a big part of this team. We need a guy like that out there,” Thomas said. "At the end of the day, when something like that happens, someone else has to step up and step into his shoes. It’s just we fell short today.”
Echoed Jared Sullinger: "Jae’s a huge part of our team. He’s like the glue, and when he went down, it was tough. But at the same time, we have someone like Marcus Smart, who can guard bigger players. We’ve seen it, he’s proven it, we can’t make excuses. They flat-out beat us."