Jaylen Brown set to return to Celtics lineup Sunday


WALTHAM, Mass.  –  Jaylen Brown, who has missed the Celtics' past two games with a right knee injury, said he anticipates he’ll be back in the lineup Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden.

“It’s feeling a lot better,” he said. “It’s feeling good on active cutting exercises, so I plan to play tomorrow.”


The only question appears to be whether Brown will wear a protective brace/sleeve for the knee, similar to what he wore while warming up prior to Boston’s 99-98 win over Houston on Friday and what he practiced in with the team on Saturday.

“I’m going to see how it feels tomorrow. I don’t want to play with a brace but something restrictive to keep it stable,” Brown said. “I don’t want to re-injure it or if something were to happen I want something to be there to catch it.”

Brown, the third overall pick in 2016 by the Celtics, has displayed a level of athleticism that stands out not just on the Celtics roster, but throughout the NBA.

Wearing a brace or protective sleeve on the knee may limit to some extent Brown’s ability to play above the rim.

Still, the freedom that he might be sacrificing in terms of his athleticism, is a small price to pay for him to be on the floor doing other things, which has helped change the narrative surrounding him from being more than just an athletic basketball player but rather, a basketball player who is athletic.

Brown admits just practicing with the brace has taken some getting used to, but it forces him to rely on other skills that he has acquired in order to continue being an impact player.

“You still have to be effective,” Brown said. “Find ways to be effective if you’re athleticism or speed isn’t there. So I think it’ll be good for me.”

Celtics coach Brad Stevens didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary in how Brown practiced wearing the protective sleeve on Saturday.

“We’re not going to have him out there unless he feels great and our training staff feels great that he’s ready to go,” Stevens said.

His return bodes well for Boston’s chances to extend their winning streak over the Brooklyn Nets to seven in a row.

Boston will also have Marcus Morris available.

Morris has had left knee soreness all season which has resulted in him missing some games to recover.

In speaking with NBC Sports Boston on Saturday, Morris said the knee feels great and he’s ready to play “as long as Brad’ll keep me out there.”

The news isn’t as good for rookie Semi Ojeleye, who has been out the past two games with a back injury. Stevens said Ojeleye will be out Sunday and will likely miss a couple more games just to give the back soreness enough time to fully heal.

Ojeleye told NBC Sports Boston that he’s never had a back injury before and that the plan is to take it one day at a time.

“We don’t want to rush anything,” he said. “It’s definitely getting better; I know that. But there’s still some soreness back there.”


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