BOSTON (CBS) -- Even if Avery Bradley thinks he is ready to play in Boston's playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Celtics president Danny Ainge may not let him.
Bradley hurt his right hamstring in Boston's Game 1 loss in Atlanta on Saturday, but recently told Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman he thinks he can return this series. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said that isn't likely on Wednesday, and Ainge reiterated that bit of bad news Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich.
"Avery is so critical and such a critical piece of our future, I'm certainly not going to allow Avery to go out at less than 100 percent. The hamstring is one of those injuries that seems to come back on guys when they have a serious one," said Ainge, noting that Bradley's injury is more of a Grade 1 strain than a Grade 3. "I know Avery is fighting at the bit. He would try to play under any circumstance if he could run. So I will prevent and intervene there to keep Avery from jeopardizing himself and get in the way, making sure he doesn't make a bad decision."
Bradley underwent an MRI on Wednesday and has already been ruled out for Games 3 and 4 this weekend in Boston. While Ainge said the guard is feeling much better now than he was right after the injury, he likely won't be returning against Atlanta.
"It's not as bad as it could have been. He is much, much better, but I think it's a longshot that Avery would be back in this series," added Ainge.
Bradley was a critical part of Boston's success in the regular season with his consistent shooting and solid defense, two traits the team has missed as they've fallen into a 2-0 series hole against Atlanta.
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