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James Young Staying Positive Despite Shoulder Injury

BOSTON (CBS)– Celtics guard James Young has overcome multiple injury obstacles during his rookie season. This week he is dealing with a new challenge: A shoulder separation that will sideline him for at least a couple weeks.

The swingman suffered the right shoulder subluxation on Wednesday night in Maine while suiting up for the Maine Red Claws, Boston's D-League affiliate. After undergoing x-rays late this week, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens confirmed that Young would miss at least the rest of the month to rehab, before a decision is made on whether he needs surgery.

"Tests came back, we talked about it being subluxed," Stevens said Friday night. "There was a little, and I don't want to misstate it, just a little bit of muscular damage that he can rehab, hopefully, without having to have surgery. So he's going to be rehabbing over the next couple of weeks, then we'll reevaluate. But it's pretty typical of a subluxed shoulder."

The physical setback is the latest in a line of ailments the 19-year-old has faced during the past calendar year. First, Young suffered a concussion in a car accident back in June that limited his draft workouts and dropped his stock out of the lottery on draft night. The Celtics selected him no. 17 overall, but the 19-year-old was forced to miss summer league as he recovered from his injuries.

Young then suffered a hamstring injury just one week into Celtics training camp in October. The leg injury caused him to miss several preseason games and helped keep him outside of the team's rotation for the start of the regular season.

"The hamstring, and the car accident were unfortunate," Stevens said while reflecting on Young's constant setbacks. "This happens throughout the course of a game; it could have happened in our practice, or in our game or their game. It's unfortunate but hopefully he can rehab it, get it better, and be good to go."

Young had been thriving during five games for the Red Claws prior to the injury, averaging over 22 points and six rebounds per game as he worked to get some reps and seasoning at his young age. Many athletes would get down about a string of physical luck like this, but to his credit, Young isn't letting his latest injury get him down in the dumps.

"It's frustrating, but I gotta keep my head up and keep my confidence high," Young said before Friday's game. "I know my time is going to come. I'm not worried about anything, just getting better. Get my body stronger, and my time will come."

The former Kentucky star is also showing an encouraging awareness of how important his work in the D-League and weigh room has been in helping prepare him to be a strong contributor at the NBA level.

"I've always been kind of littler than anybody on the team," he said. "I knew physically I wasn't ready, but I've been getting in the gym with (strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo) a lot and I'm just starting to catch up. I know it's going to take a few years to get to where I need to be but I'm just patiently waiting."

Even though Young will be watching from the sidelines for the next couple weeks, Stevens and the rest of the coaching staff will stay on him to make sure he stays engaged as a player.

"I think we really need to continue with our plan with him, whether he's on the floor or not," Stevens said. "Just everyday study, take in these games, take in the scouting reports, maybe re-watch these games with staff members and really delve into them a different way, and I think that's the way you have to do it when guys are not available, especially a 19-year-old that's not available."

With Boston's offense taking a serious nosedive in the last couple weeks, if Young continues to rehab and work hard, there may be a chance at some minutes waiting for him upon his return.

Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.


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