WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics starting point guard Evan Turner sat out Thursday's practice after tests revealed a sprained right thumb that leaves him uncertain for Friday's visit from the Chicago Bulls.
Turner said he was relieved because he initially feared a break after injuring the thumb during a collision with Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll on Wednesday. Turner was his typical joking self when he met with reporters after watching his team engage in a brief walkthrough while shorthanded on bodies.
"I thought it was broken, to tell you the truth, because I couldn't really grip with it or anything," said Turner. "If you threw me the ball, it kinda hurt because it hurt the inside of it. I’ll be fine. I just need a day for it to rest, heal up, and get a little bit better. We’ll figure out a way to tape it up and I’ll be fine."
Turner quipped: "I got a left hand, so that’s all that matters."
The Celtics were down to nine available bodies for Thursday's practice as both James Young and Jared Sullinger were sent home due to illness. Boston is also without recent trade acquisitions Nate Robinson (finalizing a buyout), Austin Rivers (finalizing a trade), and Tayshaun Prince (future still uncertain).
Coach Brad Stevens said the team looked heavy-legged versus the Hawks on Wednesday and audibled to a brief walkthrough on Thursday. The team was also debating scrapping its morning shootaround on Friday and might simply walk through at the Garden before the Bulls visit.
Stevens said he hoped that Turner, Sullinger, and Young would be available, but they'll reevaluate those players on Friday. When asked about the shortage of bodies amid the roster overhaul, Stevens noted, "We'll have a minimum of 13 [players on the active roster]. I don’t know exactly how that’s all going to shake itself out. I know you have to have 13; we'll have that. We’ll find out."
CROWDER/WALLACE DEFEND TAG-TEAM TITLES
Jae Crowder and Gerald Wallace teamed up to defeat Phil Pressey and Kelly Olynyk in the world's longest tandem game of around the world following Thursday's practice. A late flurry saw Crowder and Wallace race away, but not before teammates and assistant coaches needled the foursome about their shooting woes.
Joked Crowder: "Me and old-head G Wallace, we schooled the young fellas a little bit, which was expected."
Asked if the youngsters might owe anything for their defeat, Crowder smiled and said, "We can't talk about that."