The Boston Celtics are dropping like flies.
Another non-contact injury has ended yet another player’s season, as reserve guard Leandro Barbosa left the floor at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina with what appears to be a serious knee injury.
Barbosa terminated a drive from the left wing, replays showed that his left knee buckled and he immediately pivoted to find someone to pass the ball to before collapsing under the basket in considerable pain.
Concerned teammates and coaching staff gathered around their fallen guard as he was examined by team trainer Ed Lacerte, then Lacerte and rookie Fab Melo picked Barbosa up from the floor and carried him into the locker room, stopping at the bench briefly to let him try to put weight on the leg before carrying him the rest of the way.
The injury is another in a bizarre string that has seen starting point guard Rajon Rondo and forward Jared Sullinger fall for the season, and Celtics’ center Kevin Garnett indicated that this might be all for Barbosa.
“It’s tough, man. It’s tough all the way around,” Garnet told reporters in Charlotte. “You work with these guys and all of a sudden you see a season-ending injury. We’re grinding right now, on top of a back-to-back emotional game. Tonight was a very tough game.”
An MRI scheduled for Tuesday morning is expected to confirm that Barbosa’s season is done.
However, if the injury turns out to be less serious than expected, the Celtics have a decent depth option in their D league affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, as Sheldon Mack has already been up in the league on a couple of 10 day stints with Washington and Philadelphia, and is familiar with the Celtics’ playbook by playing in the system in Maine.
One thing to consider when mulling over options is the chemistry that the team has built, coming together to play some of their best ball of the season since Rondo went down with a torn ACL and Sullinger with a back injury.
The Celtics are running out of men to do their “Next man up” routine, now they have no choice but to bring in help.