MVP candidate Jayson Tatum revealed he is dealing with several ongoing injuries but the Boston Celtics small forward is not making any plans to take a rest.
Tatum has played 41 of the Celtics' 43 games this season and led the way with a double-double in Thursday's 109-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
But the 24-year-old shot several airballs, finishing with seven-of-22 shooting from the field, making only two-of-10 from beyond the arc, leading to questions about whether injuries played a part and if he needs a rest.
"If you look at my hand, I've got tape on my wrist, tape on my thumb," Tatum told reporters.
"Tonight I had to tape my middle finger and ring finger together... I love to play too much to sit out.
"I had some bad misses, but I would rather be out there trying to help my team win than not.
"It'll be alright. But I did airball three or four times. But it's good when you can laugh it off. We still won, so it made the night better."
When asked if he needed a rest, Tatum quipped: "Something me and [Celtics general manager] Brad [Stevens] will fight about, so when it gets to that point, maybe you'll see me sit out, maybe not."
Only four players in the NBA have averaged more minutes per game this season than Tatum, who revealed he tweaked the wrist injury in Boston's opening game of the campaign against the Philadelphia 76ers, having dealt with a similar issue during last season's NBA Finals. The thumb and finger issues, however, are newer.
"One game into the season, I remember I hurt it against Philly and I've been taping it ever since," he said.
"I've had issues with my thumb and recently my ring finger. But we're just going to keep figure out ways to tape it and wrap it up."
Tatum is averaging 30.8 points per game on 47.1 per cent shooting from the field and 35.2 per cent shooting from three-point range for the season.
JT the dancing machine pic.twitter.com/PB2WSbf5l9— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 13, 2023