Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown says his body hasn’t felt the same since having COVID-19

BOSTON — Celtics star Jaylen Brown said he’s still feeling the aftermath of COVID-19 and said he sometimes felt like he’d played three games in one.

“I think so,” Brown said after Friday’s Boston workout when asked if he was still recovering from COVID-19, which he tested positive for earlier this month. “I’ve been noticing over the past few days – what, four games for me now? – My body didn’t recover like that in a way. I’ll speak to our medical staff about this.

“I feel great. And then it feels like I haven’t played one game, but three. I’m used to my body reacting and recovering much faster. I know I just turned 25, but this can’t be what it looks like on the other side.”

Boston announced that Brown had tested positive on October 8. After enduring the required 10 days per NBA health and safety protocols, he was able to ramp up in time to play the New York Knicks in the Oct. 20 season opener.

Brown was spectacular in that game, scoring 46 points in 46 minutes in a double overtime loss and he had 30 points in an overtime win on Monday in Charlotte. But he had two duds in Boston’s two home games this season and went off the field in a combined 8-for-29 for 22 points, including just 13 points in 5-for-16 shooting in a loss to Washington on Wednesday .

Ahead of the season opener, Brown said he’s had intermittent breathing problems, which is his biggest concern as COVID returns. But while he says that’s fine now, Brown said he’s also struggled with joint pain, in addition to his body not recovering fast enough.

“As I keep fighting my way through and play more games and get the right thing in my system, it gets better,” Brown said. “It was inconsistent at the moment. I think that’s obvious. But my body didn’t feel like that.”

Brown’s inconsistency from game to game was described as “staggering” by new Celtics coach Ime Udoka after the Washington defeat. Brown, who has since spoken to Udoka, said the comment didn’t bother him and he agreed with Udoka’s assessment.

“I came in yesterday and talked to myself about it,” Brown said. “It didn’t bother me. It’s amazing for me too. I was surprised that my body didn’t respond the way it normally does. I’m usually able to have that zipper, that bang flying up and down the court, but it wasn’t there, I think that was obvious.

“I don’t think he’s stepping out of line for that or anything. I need to get better and get together with my medical staff and figure out how to get my body to the point where I feel normal. Some days I feel amazing and then it’s like, “Two, three days, it takes too long for my body to feel amazing again. That’s a problem for me. While I’m navigating this, we still have to work on the details tighten, tighten our defense and find a way to win games. Even if I don’t feel that way on the pitch, I could still be better in certain areas and more detailed in certain areas. That’s more the conversation we’re having.

Brown, who fielded his first-ever All-Star team last season, also suffers from a left patella tendon disorder that caused him to miss Sunday’s game in Houston against the Rockets. He also said he spoke to fellow Celtics Jayson Tatum about his own difficult recovery from COVID-19 last year, although he added that it’s difficult to compare their experiences because they weren’t addressing the same issues.

“I think it affects everyone a little bit differently. I think Jayson, he said his breathing was more of his concern,” Brown said. “…My recovery wasn’t the usual kind of recovery in a way. I usually go through a routine. And this routine works. it’s money I’ve been doing it for a few years. Even after a tough game, I’m doing my routine and I should be fine.”

The Celtics (2-3) travel to Washington for a rematch with the Wizards on Saturday night. They will be without Marcus Smart who will not be making the trip due to a non-COVID illness. Dennis Schroder is expected to start in Smart’s place.

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