All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving will miss his second straight game because of a right quadriceps contusion, and the Boston Celtics could be limited to as few as 10 available players during Friday's visit by the Atlanta Hawks.
Irving bruised his quad during the Celtics' win in Denver on Monday. He was listed as probable for Wednesday's game against the Knicks, but coach Brad Stevens said Irving was stiff that day and the team will give him additional time to heal. This is the first time that Irving has missed consecutive games this season.
"Kyrie feels a little bit better, again, but still will be day-to-day," Stevens said. "[Irving is] not ready to play."
Stevens said Irving could potentially suit up Sunday, but the team will wait to see how he feels closer to the game.
The Celtics ruled out Irving, Marcus Morris (hip), Marcus Smart (hand) and Shane Larkin (knee) from Friday's game. Terry Rozier, who had a triple-double in his first career start Wednesday against the New York Knicks, seems likely to start again in place of Irving.
Asked if Rozier would indeed be back in the starting five, Stevens said: "I think that would be a good idea. Yeah, we'll do that. He might be in every five. He might be all 48 minutes and every five."
Stevens played it a bit light when addressing Morris' absence.
"Marcus Morris, I joked that his butt's better, but we're not playing him because he wore that [Philadelphia Eagles] jersey the other day when he was being interviewed," Stevens cracked.
Morris wore an Alshon Jeffery jersey to his postgame media session Wednesday. The Patriots and Eagles meet in Super Bowl LII on Sunday.
"[Morris] feels better than we thought he would, but he's still going to be out at least for the foreseeable future, a couple of days. And we'll go from there."
Morris landed hard on his backside Wednesday after getting clipped by New York's Michael Beasley on a breakaway dunk. Smart is out for two weeks after punching a picture frame at Boston's team hotel in Los Angeles last week. Larkin will miss his third straight game while battling knee soreness.
Stevens suggested there's a chance Smart won't play again until after the All-Star break while waiting for the skin on the back of his hand to heal.
Barring an emergency call-up of another G League two-way player, Boston will have only 10 available players for Friday's game. Six of those players are rookies.