Jayson Tatum and the Celtics got a bit of a scare on Tuesday morning as the 21-year-old forward had to be helped off the floor in the closing seconds of Team USA's 93-92 win over Turkey in Shanghai. USA Basketball announced after the game that Tatum had suffered a sprained left ankle and would be re-evaluated on Wednesday ahead of the team's final Group E matchup with Japan.
Tatum posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds before his injury and rescued Team USA from the upset in the final seconds of overtime by corralling a loose ball off a missed free throw by Cedi Osman. With USA trailing by one and just eight seconds remaining in the final frame, Tatum went coast-to-coast after grabbing the rebound to set up Khris Middleton for an easy look at the rim (he was fouled). After making the pass, Tatum appears to roll his left ankle before colliding with teammate Harrison Barnes.
Here's Jayson Tatum's ankle injury at the end of Team USA's win over Turkey. pic.twitter.com/IrUadQz1DE
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) September 3, 2019
Tatum initially had to be helped off the court by teammates and coaches but sounded more upbeat about his status after the game. The Celtic forward texted Brad Stevens after the game according to the Globe's Gary Washburn saying the injury was not that bad. He also left the arena without a limp in China and told reporters there he was already feeling better.
BSJ's medical expert Dr. Jessica Flynn believes that Tatum is likely dealing with a low ankle sprain based on the video. That could be a 4-6 week recovery if it's severe enough but Tatum has been an incredibly durable player throughout his career and the early returns from China on his condition have been encouraging.
It's fair to guess that the forward will miss games this week (at a minimum) if he's not shut entirely from the