After missing his first game in two seasons on Wednesday night, Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner is hoping to be back on the hardwood as early as the team's game against the Milwaukee Bucks this Friday.
It would be quite a quick turnaround for Turner, who was forced to miss the Celtics' fixture against the New Orleans Pelicans after suffering a left eye abrasion - and subsequent bleeding to the eye - in the dying seconds of Sunday night's game versus the Los Angeles Lakers, courtesy of an errant finger from Julius Randle.
Speaking about the injury scare today, though, the Boston star admitted he actually feared he'd lost his eye in the immediate aftermath of the incident:
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"I don’t know anything about a scratch. I thought that bad boy came out," Turner said, via ESPN. "I didn’t know - all I saw was black. So I was kind of freaking out.
"I thought of 'Any Given Sunday,' when his eye came out on the field. So I was saying, ‘No, damn, if I can’t see out my left eye that would suck.’ I’m glad it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be."
Clearly the injury didn't turn out to be quite as serious as Turner first feared, but it was painful nonetheless.
After admitting he ran off the court so quickly against the Lakers because he didn't want to cry in public, the 27-year-old explained how things have progressed over the past few days:
"Obviously, mine, it felt weird. It was hard to open up and it was really heavy, obviously. Even when I opened it, it was kind of a lot of discomfort.
"But the next day I felt a little bit better. [Tuesday] I felt great. And today I feel even better."
Earlier this week, Turner gave fans an insight into the discomfort he was in with a picture uploaded to his official Instagram account:
Even if he is able to return to the court on Friday against Milwaukee, ESPN reports that Turner will do so wearing protective eye gear as a precaution.
The Celtics will be hoping to get the guard back fit and healthy as soon as possible as they prepare for what they hope will be a deep playoff run.
Currently tied for the third seed in the Eastern Conference, the Beantown franchise will look to finish the regular season off as well as possible in order to give themselves the best chance of achieving that goal.
Having Turner available as a valuable bench presence will be an important part of that.