Jayson Tatum

Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum in walking boot after injuring ankle in win over Lakers

John Tomase
November 09, 2017 - 12:13 am

Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum left the Garden in a walking boot on Wednesday after injuring his ankle in a 107-96 victory over the Lakers, and head coach Brad Stevens said he'll undergo further testing on Thursday.

Tatum was limited to nine minutes before asking to be removed from the lineup and retreating to the locker room to have his sore right ankle evaluated. He was eventually ruled out for the game.

Stevens said it's unclear when Tatum was injured or how long he'll be sidelined. He said Tatum underwent an X-ray at the game and will probably have an MRI on Thursday.

"He must've felt it at some point, right there, right before he came out he asked to be taken out," Stevens said. "And then he went back in the back and they ruled him out for the rest of the game. He's in a walking boot to be safe tonight, and then he'll be reexamined tomorrow."

With Al Horford sidelined by a potential concussion, the Celtics would prefer not to lose Tatum, who entered the game averaging nearly 15 points and seven rebounds a game while shooting over 50 percent on 3-pointers, numbers that are far better than a team should realistically expect from a 19-year-old, even one drafted third overall.

If Tatum is sidelined for any length of time, the Celtics will have to lean even more heavily on Stevens, whose system has helped produce 10 straight wins.

"That’s the best thing about having a good system and a good coach -- he puts us in the place we need to be to succeed," big man Aron Baynes told reporters when asked about the impact of Tatum's loss. "When we don't go out there and try and take it upon ourselves, that's not how we look good. When we got back to moving it, that's when good things happened and that's when we started to have fun. I keep saying and I keep preaching, but the more you live within the system, the better we all look and the more fun we all have as well. That’s a credit to Brad."

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