Celtics' Jaylen Brown avoided further damage in scary fall

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown sustained only a concussion and avoided any additional structural injuries after his scary fall from the rim during Thursday's win in Minnesota.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Brown underwent a series of tests Friday, and everything came back negative. The team put Brown into the NBA's concussion protocol Friday afternoon, and Stevens said he'll be given all the time necessary to get back to full health.

"He's sore, and he has entered the concussion protocol. As far as structurally -- neck, back, shoulders -- he's going to be fine," said Stevens. "He will be out, obviously, [Sunday versus the Pacers]. I guess at some point, he becomes day-to-day, but I don't see that happening anytime in the next couple days or week even."

While the team takes the concussion diagnosis seriously, Stevens noted it was an encouraging sign that Brown avoided further injury.

"I don't want to minimize that -- a concussion is something that we have to make sure that he comes back 110 percent and goes through the whole protocol symptom-free, all that stuff," said Stevens. "It could have been a number of things with that fall, but I think, again, he's fortunate, and we're fortunate that it's not. He'll go through the protocol, and we won't bring him back until it's right."

Teammates said they were encouraged to see Brown at the practice facility on Friday.

"They were checking on him again, and he was going to go get an MRI," said Celtics guard Marcus Smart. "He was walking on his own, everything seemed to be fine. So that was a good sign for us. So I think he's going to be OK.

"It could have been worse. The fact that he was able to walk off on his own was satisfying to us all. And just keep your head up. Everybody's telling him he's in our prayers and things like that. He's keeping a positive attitude, and in a situation like that, you have to stay that way. And everybody's here supporting him."

Smart would be one of the candidates to vault into a starting role while Brown navigates the concussion protocol. Stevens wouldn't tip his hand on who will start Sunday's game against the Pacers.

"Kyrie [Irving], Terry [Rozier], Marcus are going to play their minutes they always play, plus obviously those guys will be impacted by [Brown's absence]," said Stevens. "More opportunity for Semi [Ojeleye], [Abdel] Nader and Shane [Larkin]. I think that we'll go game-to-game and minute-to-minute like we have all year and next man step up."

Given how good Boston's bench has played lately -- Irving noted Saturday, "We see something very special in our second unit" -- Stevens might be tempted to keep that group's rotation intact as much as possible but admitted it might be hard not to pull a top reserve like Smart or Rozier up to the starting group.

"We'll look at Shane, Smart, Terry, Semi, Nader -- any of those guys could start," said Stevens. "You're not only worried about the first five minutes of each half. It's important. It's really important. But at the end of the day, we'll weigh starting Smart or Terry or keeping our bench unit together."