The last thing the Boston Celtics necessary was another injury, but they suffered another in training this weekend. Rookie point guard Payton Pritchard suffered a finger dislocation on his left hand.
“Payton Pritchard had his finger sticking out,” Brad Stevens said after practice on Saturday. “But they were able to put it back.”
Dislocated fingers are common in basketball. It will take some time for the ligaments around the joint to heal, but it’s a relatively minor injury and he’s returned to the field.
” He is hard. He trained today, ”Stevens said. “He tried to train yesterday and like I said they put that thing back on and he was begging to come back to training, but they also waited – and rightly so – until an x-ray be taken to make sure there were no other problems.
The dynamism and intensity of Pritchard (and possibly his Oregon roots) are what drew Danny Ainge to him. Some people saw Pritchard’s selection as a litter, but Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told the Boston Globe that he encouraged the choice after seeing Ainge’s excitement.
“With Payton Pritchard, Danny is rubbing his hands,” Grousbeck said. “It reminds me of when we wrote [Rajon] Rondo and I encouraged him to swap and get Rondo, because I had never heard him so excited by a prospect. I’m not saying Payton Pritchard is Rondo, but Danny had that level of excitement about seeing this kid on the team. He’s got fire inside, he’s ultra-competitive.
This competitiveness will serve the Celtics well. Pritchard plans to be a shooter and an energetic guy if he gets any minutes on the bench to start the season. His energy and drive will force the Celtics to match his efforts. It’s something that already made him love Marcus Smart.
“I kind of had a feeling that he would be a guy who stood out for me,” Smart said recently. “I couldn’t wait to see what he’s got, and he hasn’t disappointed yet.”
Our first chance to see Pritchard will be in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and he won’t let a little dislocated finger get in the way of that debut.
“He trained fully today with his fingers glued together,” Stevens said. “He’s a tough little guy.”