Celtics handling Kemba Walker's injury like a concussion despite lack of symptoms

Nick Friar
November 25, 2019 - 7:23 pm

Following his injury on Friday, it didn’t seem possible for Kemba Walker to be up for consideration to play against the Kings. Yet Walker wasn’t officially ruled out until two hours before Monday’s game.

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At Sunday’s practice, Brad Stevens stated Walker would be ruled out as a result of concerns with his head, not his neck. Prior to Monday’s game, Celtics team physician Tony Schena expressed this was the case, even though Walker does not have concussion-like symptoms and didn’t lose consciousness on Friday — he stayed on the floor as a medical precaution.

The spine board, collar and other spine precautions were a result of Walker feeling numbness and tingling in his hands when he first hit the floor.

Following his removal from the Pepsi Center, Walker was brought to a level-1 trauma center where a neurological evaluation was done, followed by an MRI, then a “special set of x-rays,” once it was established the structures were stable in his neck. Walker then received a soft collar for his trip back to Boston, where he was re-evaluated by the Celtics.

Even though he has no concussion symptoms, the Celtics have handled Walker as if he’s in the NBA concussion protocol, “because of the nature of his injury and our concern about running headlong into Semi (Ojeleye), who is a solid individual,” Schena said.

The next step for Walker is to practice on Tuesday.

Also, Walker is not prone to reinjury.

“Structurally every test we did was fine,” Schena said. “So, he’s (the) same as he was before.”