BOSTON -- Boston Celtics second-year big man Kelly Olynyk will not play in Friday's Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend and is hoping he's closer to a return to game action when the team reconvenes out west next week.
Olynyk, nursing an ankle injury, missed his 11th straight game Wednesday when the Celtics hosted the Atlanta Hawks in their final game before the All-Star break. Olynyk had been selected to the World roster in the league's annual rookie/sophomore showcase, but does not feel healthy enough to participate.
"We have another week off, it just makes more sense to hold off," said Olynyk.
But Olynyk admitted he's spending most of his time now in the training room, making slow progress after a severe sprain.
"This was definitely worse [than a sprain he endured his rookie season,]" said Olynyk. "This time I couldn’t even walk or put pressure on it for four or five days. Last one was a little bit better in terms of being able to get around and stuff."
Celtics coach Brad Stevens sounded unsure if Olynyk would even be ready to return to practice when the team gets to Sacramento on Wednesday.
"He's not playing [in the Rising Stars], he's not ready to play yet," said Stevens. "He’s going to get treated again, do his typical day [Thursday], then he’s going to head to New York City for whatever activities that he’s going to do for part of his NBA appearance with the [Rising Stars] game and being selected to the game. Then we’ll see him in Sacramento, with the idea that hopefully he’ll be able to practice, or soon thereafter, after the All-Star break. Whether he’s able to practice Wednesday, we don’t know yet, that’d still be pushing it, probably."
Stevens echoed the sentiment that it was a bad sprain.
"It was a significant deal and he’s done some court work, but hasn’t done extensive court work, and certainly hasn’t done any lateral court work, which anybody that’s ever done their ankle knows that that’s the major step," said Stevens.
The Celtics open a three-game road trip in Sacramento on Feb. 20 to start the second half of the season.