Kelly Olynyk (41) played through shoulder issues in the final two months of the season. (Bill Streicher-USA Today Sports)
WALTHAM – Kelly Olynyk is pretty psyched that Tom Brady is coming back to the NFL after next week.
The Celtics center said one of the highlights of his summer of rehab from shoulder surgery was listening and talking to Tom Brady as the Patriots quarterback spent time on Long Island trying to lure Kevin Durant to Boston.
“Brady’s an unbelievable individual,” Olynyk said during Monday’s media day. “He’s really, really smart. Just to be able to pick his brain for a half-hour, an hour, going down there was awesome, his philosophies, the way he lives his life. How professional he is, the way attacks every single game, every single moment and just kind of year-round, 24/7, it was awesome to see through his eyes, and hear it through his mouth, what he does and what it takes to be great.
“He’s really exemplified that at a lot of different stages so I’m excited to see him get back in the action, too, man.”
As for his shoulder, the seven-footer said he’s getting better and better but still hasn’t been cleared for contact following surgery on the right shoulder on May 16.
“Shoulder’s doing well. It’s coming along,” Olynyk said. “It’s been a long haul of rehab but it’s getting stronger and improving every day. Seeing visual improvements now. It’s doing well. It just needs to get a little bit stronger so that muscles can protect it and take a hit.”
Olynyk re-aggravated the shoulder in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Hawks after suffering the initial injury in the final game before the All-Star break in February against the Clippers.
“Yeah, I never really got back,” said Olynyk, who was Boston’s best 3-point threat at 41 percent before the injury. “There was always pain and restrictions. I really couldn’t do anything. My shoulder was not functionable and it’s too bad. I wanted to be out there so bad to help the team and help us win but it just wasn’t in the cards.
“It was 5-6 months after the surgery. It’s been four-and-a-half right now so hopefully in the next three or four weeks, we can get out there and make something happen. We’ve just got to make sure it’s strong enough to take a hit. It’s day-to-day, week-to-week, see you how you feel, testing the strength, testing the limits and go from there.”
The additions of Al Horford, Gerald Green and draft pick Jaylen Brown has just heightened Olynyk’s anticipation for the season. That is, of course, if he doesn’t get traded before the season, a rumor that continues to circulate under the surface.
“Yeah, you want to be out there and helping this team,” Olynyk said. “We have a great group of guys together, a great coaching staff. We have a great locker room so everybody’s coming here to do the same thing. I think we have a real shot of being great this year. I want to be back and helping as soon as I can.
“I felt like I was playing really good basketball and I felt like we were, as a team, playing really good basketball at that time, heading into the All-Star break. It was really unfortunate to go down at that time. Stuff happens, everything happens for a reason. I’m feeling stronger than ever right now so I can wait until this thing gets started.”