Boston Celtics big man Al Horford will miss Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, according to Brad Stevens, but the injured center continues to progress toward a return to action.
“It’s about him feeling good for the rest of the season,” Brad Stevens said. “He just needs to feel 100 percent as he goes out and goes through a progression of drills and everything else.”
Horford, who has been dealing with knee soreness, hasn’t played in five consecutive games, and he has missed seven of the team’s last 11. He was diagnosed with Patellofemoral pain syndrome, and Stevens has been clear that the goal is to get him back fully healthy rather than rushing him back.
“We did not test (Horford) on anything he failed,” Stevens said. “This is part of his progression.”
Stevens did not rule out a return to action for Horford in Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. A healthy Horford is one of the best defenders in the league against Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Jaylen Brown is also questionable against the Suns. Stevens said Brown hurt his hand as well as his tailbone in his fall against the Dallas Mavericks, and he aggravated that injury against the Detroit Pistons.
Stevens added that while Guerschon Yabusele does not have a timeline for his return to action after badly spraining his ankle, he is progressing well.
The Celtics’ schedule over the last few weeks has not been particularly friendly to the recovering players.
“Our schedule has been really interesting so far with all the travel in the first two months,” Stevens said. “This will be the first time we play consecutive games at home in a while, but we basically play every other day for the next two-and-a-half, three weeks, and then we have another one day in between that, and then we go again. It’s quite an intense schedule we have to be prepared for.”