Boston Celtics

Jan 8, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots against Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) in the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth,

Now on a two-game slide after Wednesday night’s loss in Philly, the Celtics continue to wait for the return of their superstar, Jayson Tatum. Tatum tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, and has been unable to play since due  to the NBA’s health & safety protocols.

Speaking with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Thursday morning, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge shared what seems like a positive update on Tatum’s timeline. “Jayson, he looks good. I’m on my way in to watch him work out right now and talk to him and see how he’s doing,” Ainge told T&R. “He seems in a good place.”

Tatum returning to the Celtics’ facility, even individually, is a big step. When speaking with Zolak & Bertrand on Wednesday, coach Brad Stevens made it sound as though Tatum hadn’t yet been back in the building at that point.

Does that mean Tatum’s return is on the horizon. “I don’t know when he’s coming back,” Ainge said “but I’m guessing that within the next few games he’ll be back playing. Being himself.”

Jan 4, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts after making a three point basket against the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Still, don’t expect the team to rush him back. As has been the case with other players who have missed time this year (Kemba Walker, Robert Williams), there will likely be a ramp-up period once Tatum can play again.

“With him being out for a couple of weeks and not being able to do anything while he had COVID, it’s just tough,” Ainge explained. “We’re just being cautious and careful with Jayson. Yeah, it’s a conversation that he has with our medical staff and with our trainers, and they’ll make that determination.”

Before testing positive, Tatum was the Celtics’ leading scorer this season, averaging 27 points per game through 10 games. He’s missed three games so far, with the Celtics going 1-2 in that stretch.

You can check out the full conversation with Danny Ainge below:

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Celtics.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at