Ray Allen has been shelved during a few recent games for an injury that seems relatively minor, at least on the surface. Nobody seems overly worried about it.
EXCEPT ME, DAMN IT!
Allen has a history of ankle issues. He’s 36 years old. Said ankles are swelling up after he plays games. Jackie MacMullan, one of the finest Celtics reporters ever, said she’s heard grumblings that Allen will require surgery at some point. Doc Rivers noted he wasn’t sure whether Allen would need surgery, which is probably code for, “Yeah, that might be an option at some point.” Allen injured the ankle on March 12 against the Clippers, played five more games with it, had to shut it down temporarily because the ankle just wasn’t responding, played five games after returning from his absence, and then had to shut it down again, missing the Hawks game last night and at least one more in the Toronto game.
Do we see a pattern here? THE ANKLE ISN’T HEALING! THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE GET OLD! EVEN FOR ROBOTS LIKE RAY ALLEN!
If the Celtics had to lose one of their most important players, I would honestly nominate Allen, because A) secondary pieces of his game have declined, even while his shooting remains top-notch, and B) the Celtics have a number of other options at his position, including Avery Bradley, Mickael Pietrus and the suddenly-effective Sasha Pavlovic. But it’s still not a good sign that Allen’s ankle refuses to heal, even if he played reasonably well during the five games for which he returned. If I had to guess, I would imagine the injury will impact him for the remainder of the season, but he’ll be just healthy enough to tough it out for the playoffs.