WALTHAM, Mass. — Celtics guard Shane Larkin will not play in Game 5 against the Sixers and will likely be out for longer.
“Shane’s got a sprained shoulder, very, very sore, so out tonight and the foreseeable future,” head coach Brad Stevens said Wednesday morning at the Celtics’ practice facility. “Obviously he’ll continue to strengthen and work on it with our training staff and everything else, but I don’t anticipate him back anytime soon.”
Larkin left Monday’s game in the first quarter after running into a screen set by Joel Embiid.
The quick-footed, 5-foot-11 reserve guard has been tasked with defending JJ Redick and Marco Belinelli. Though he scored only a combined nine points through four games in this series against the Sixers, he provided valuable minutes for the Celtics, chasing the Sixers’ shooters around screens as the starters rested.
When the injury occurred, Larkin got up from the court grabbing his shoulder and headed straight for the locker room.
“He got hit pretty good, but the imaging suggested that surgery probably won’t be needed,” Stevens said. “It’s a bummer for him.”
Larkin’s absence will add to the defensive load for Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier, who have all spent large chunks of time guarding Redick, Belinelli, and T.J. McConnell, who provided a large spark for the Sixers in their Game 4 victory.
“We played Game 1 without Jaylen Brown, so the story continues,” Rozier said. “That’s just the way it goes.”
Brown, who suffered a hamstring strain in Game 7 of the Celtics’ opening-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks and missed Game 1 against the Sixers, remains on a minutes restriction, but Stevens said Brown continues to improve and feel better every day.