Boston Celtics

May 15, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) dribbles the ball during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game two of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

Jaylen Brown appears close to returning from the infection that has sidelined him for the last week and a half, meaning Celtics head coach Brad Stevens will need to decide whether or not to insert Brown back into the starting lineup.

In his weekly appearance on Zolak & Bertrand, Stevens did not rule out the possibility of Brown coming off the bench, but he did not offer any specifics on what his starting lineup and rotations might look like when Brown returns.

“I do think we’ve got to figure out how to strengthen our bench from the standpoint of scoring, and so I think that whether you bring [Brown off the bench] or [Marcus Smart off the bench] you’re going to have more guys that have been there and done that in those groups. Obviously we’ll rotate [Jayson] Tatum in that group some and [Gordon] Hayward in that group some. We’ll figure out how to make that best work.

Brown did not travel with the team to Tuesday’s game in Cleveland, but has been working out in Boston and could potentially rejoin the Celtics on Thursday for their game in Charlotte. But Stevens said his status remains up in the air and he could be on a minutes restriction when he returns.

Brown has played in three games this season and averaged 17.3 points per game in those appearances.

You can listen to Stevens’ full interview with Zolak & Bertrand here (starting at the 31:10 mark):

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.