Celtics rookie Terry Rozier says knee soreness 'nothing serious'

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics rookie guard Terry Rozier had his left knee drained after experiencing swelling last week and will miss both of the team's exhibition games this week in New York.

Rozier, the 16th overall pick in June's draft, said he initially tweaked the knee near the start of training camp chasing a loose ball. He didn't tell the team's medical staff, believing the injury to be minor, but swelling became an issue overseas.

"I thought I could just get through it. But lesson learned from that," Rozier said. "But it's nothing serious. It just has me off my feet right now."

Rozier stressed that the injury is not related to some knee issues he experienced in the past, but he admitted he should have spoken up sooner.

"In college, the whole two years, I never sat out a practice or a game," Rozier said. "So your body kind of wears down. But right now, this is different. At the pro level you've gotta know when to sit out. But like I said, the knee problem that I had a problem with is not an issue anymore. It's not bothering me. It's the back of my knee that caused the swelling. I'll be fine after a couple of days. Nothing big."

Pressed on the issue, Rozier again downplayed concerns and said he'd use a stationary bike and pool work to aid the recovery process.

"I'm great. I'm on Level 10 right now so I'm good, I'm feeling real good," he said with a smile. "They want me to calm down a little bit but I feel good. I feel great. I'm feeling probably the best I've felt since Madrid, since it started swelling. So I'm feeling good. Just hope that it can keep getting better."

Last season, then-rookie James Young tweaked his hamstring before his preseason debut and played through the pain. He ended up missing most of the exhibition season. Stevens stressed Monday -- as he did with Young last year -- that players have to trust the medical staff, though he didn't sound overly concerned about Rozier's injury.

"From what I was told, his knee wasn't feeling great the day of the game [in Madrid on Thursday]. He played, it swelled up [and] we were going to get it looked at when we got back," Stevens said.

"When he got back off the plane, the swelling had gone down, which is, like, unheard of after an eight-hour flight, so we weren't quite as concerned. But we still did an MRI and he got it drained. That's the only reason he's sitting for the next three to five days. He probably could play in two or three, but we're not going to push that right now."

Added Stevens: "We have to trust that these guys will tell us what their body is telling them. And our trainers are great; the strength group is great. I think there's a great deal of trust -- we've gotta trust that our guys are going to tell us when they are not feeling good. And they've gotta trust that those guys are really good at their jobs, which they are. It's good synergy."

Rozier scored 14 points -- including 12 while playing the entire fourth quarter -- during Thursday's win over Real Madrid. He'll miss exhibition games this week against the Brooklyn Nets (Wednesday) and New York Knicks (Friday), but said he's eager to build off the overseas trip.

"I wasn't satisfied, but I was kinda happy with it," Rozier said. "Just altogether with everything we did, we took care of business, we did what we had to do. That's the most important thing. I'll get better. I'll get more comfortable as the season progresses. As far as the team though, we did pretty good."