Monday, August 22, 2022

Jayson Tatum reveals he played through wrist fracture during Celtics playoff run

Jayson Tatum had a busy weekend which included a 20-point performance in Saturday's CrawsOver Pro-Am event ran by former NBA guard Jamal Crawford at Seattle Pacific University.

The Celtics All-Star hit five 3-pointers and had a few highlight-reel assists before taking part in an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report the very next day.

Tatum, who has been quite vocal this summer, spoke about the Celtics' trip to the NBA Finals, working out with Kevin Durant and multiple injuries he played through during the postseason.

According to the 24-year old, an undisclosed wrist injury -- which he sustained in a mid-February regular season matchup against the Atlanta Hawks -- was actually a fracture he would end up playing through for the next eight-plus weeks, including the Celtics deep playoff run.
"It was small, but it was still like a non-displaced chip. So like I chipped a bone but it didn't leave the surface," Tatum said Sunday night. "But it had shown that the bone had grew over it so it healed, but I was still in pain because I kept getting hit or falling on it. So I guess I played with somewhat of a fracture for like two months."
The pain from the injury seemed somewhat manageable until Tatum appeared to reaggravate it come the second-round when the Celtics faced the Milwaukee Bucks.
"There was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3. I dunked it, Giannis [Antetokounmpo] chased me down and fouled me and I fell into the crowd. That was the most painful it's been since that day that I hurt it," Tatum recalled. "I ended up getting a cortisone shot in my wrist that night and you could see it. I've lost color in my hand because it kills the fat cells and there's not a lot of fat in my hand, so I've lost color right there. After each game I would have to wear a brace to shoot around and I would take it off before the cameras saw me."
Tatum, despite sustaining a shoulder injury in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat and already dealing with a non-displaced wrist fracture, the superstar forward averaged 25.6 points per game and shot 42.6% from the floor in the playoffs. Ultimately, it was not enough, as the Celtics came up short in six games to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
"If anybody knows me, [like] my teammates, I never wanna miss a game. I've tried to play every game of every season that I can. I hate coming out, I hate getting subbed out, I hate missing [games]," said Tatum about playing through injuries.
"Everybody's banged up, a little hurt. If you're injured, then you can't play. But that was the whole reason why I was scared to get an MRI because I was like 'something is wrong, but I don't want anyone to tell me I can't play."
With the 2022-23 Celtics schedule already released and training camp right around the corner, expect Tatum's wrist and shoulder to be ready to go this upcoming campaign, as he has giving his aliments plenty of time to heal properly while also taking advantage of rest during the offseason.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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