The Celtics hoped and hoped their newly acquired business piece would make its Boston debut against Oklahoma City on Saturday. But Evan Fournier will not get well, as he was included in the injury report due to health and safety protocols.
Fournier was one of five Celtics who were on the injury report and designated as off on Saturday. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Friday that Fournier was in Boston for physicals and other tasks. It’s unclear how long Fournier will be on the sidelines due to protocols, which the league uses for coronavirus-related issues. The Celtics and the NBA cannot comment further for privacy reasons.
Romeo Langford and Tristan Thompson were also excluded due to health and safety protocols. Langford has missed the entire second half of the season due to protocols, although he is expected to return next week. There is no timetable yet for the return of Thompson, who has missed the last seven games.
The other two players were expected on the injury report. Kemba Walker is out Saturday due to left knee management as the team will not play him in the second game of a back-to-back. Semi Ojeleye is unavailable due to a left side strain, which he suffered Wednesday against the Bucks. Ojeleye had to be helped off the pitch as he seemed to be in clear pain.
The big hit here is Fournier, who made an unexpected visit to the injury report. He was averaging 19.7 points per game on 38.8% from 3s for the Magic this season. The Celtics sent Jeff Teague and two second-round picks for the shooter, who they hoped would help push the playoffs.
With just 27 games remaining in the season, if Fournier is out for an extended period of time, it will be much more difficult to acclimate him to the team before the playoff push.
The Celtics will have their other two business pieces ready to go. Moe Wagner played his first minutes in a Boston uniform in a win over Milwaukee on Friday. Luke Kornet was also on the bench, although he had no action.