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#pounditTuesday, March 21, 2023

Unusual reason for Joe Mazzulla’s absence from Celtics revealed

Dec 16, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla watches from the sideline as they take on the Orlando Magic at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It turns out that the players are not the only ones who can be sidelined with strange injuries.

Boston Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla has not been with the team for the last two games. He missed Tuesday’s game against the Houston Rockets and Thursday’s game against the LA Clippers. That has left assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, the former NBA guard who also used to coach Pacific University, to fill in for Mazzulla.

On Thursday, the Celtics revealed the unusual reason behind Mazzulla’s absence — he apparently suffered corneal abrasions to both his eyes while playing a recent pickup basketball game (per Celtics writer Bobby Manning).

Celtics reporter Abby Chin adds that Mazzulla was injured in the pickup game on Tuesday but is expected to make the team’s upcoming road trip that begins on Sunday in Denver against the Nuggets.

Fortunately for Boston, they have not missed a beat under Stoudamire. They won both of the aforementioned games by a combined 30 points.

As for Mazzulla, it makes sense that he still enjoys playing basketball since he is only 34 years old and had a successful college career at West Virginia. Mazzulla has been a pleasant surprise since taking over for the suspended Ime Udoka, going a smoldering 24-10 in the games that he has coached this season. But between the eye injuries and some other noteworthy examples, Mazzulla has also suffered his fair share of cartoonish misfortune this year.

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