Horford aiming to return on Saturday

Fox in the box – Nenad Krsticic

Boston Celtics center Al Horford is looking to make his comeback from a concussion when his team travel to take on the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. 

Horford has been sidelined for almost two weeks due to his concussion and has not been allowed to play due to the NBA’s concussion policy.

Horford refused to say how he got injured, but he confirmed that he will travel with the Celtics on their two-game road trip, with starts with a game against the Pacers and concludes with a clash against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

“I’ve been banged in the head before, but nothing like this,” he said. “I’m getting better each day and the past two days have been really good for me. I was able to get on the court a lot more and run up and down. Do a lot of movement, a lot of stuff I wasn’t able to do a couple of days ago.”

The Celtics have lost their last three games and have struggled defensively. Horford admitted that it has been tough to see his side slip after a strong start to the season, which saw them win three out of their first four games.

“It’s been difficult [to watch] just because you want to be out there helping your teammates, fighting every night,” Horford said. “It’s tested my patience this time. Everyone here has been very supportive, starting with coach [Brad Stevens]. Just down the line all the guys. But I’m just very encouraged by my work today. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape.”

Having felt the effects of a concussion, Horford conceded that this type of injury is very different to the other, more common, injuries that players suffer on the court.

“I honestly didn’t understand it before now,” Horford said. “I would always hear stuff, see documentaries and stuff. But you don’t fully understand — you know, with an ankle, with a knee, I’ve played through plenty of stuff and it’s no problem. But with the brain, it’s a little different. It’s been a challenge for me because I’ve had to be patient. The good thing is that now I’m at the point that I’m starting to feel good again.”

While Horford is raring to get back on the court again, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has urged him to be patient.

“I don’t want to even act like I’m a doctor but, from what I understand, each concussion is unique,” Stevens said. “It was diagnosed as a mild concussion but as long as there are symptoms that reoccur then that continues the protocol. And that’s good. I’m thankful I’m coaching in an era where that’s the case. The most important thing is that his health is prioritized. And mild or not, a concussion’s a concussion.”