This article is part of our NBA Injury Analysis series.
RotoWire injury guru and certified athletic trainer Jeff Stotts takes an in-depth look at key injuries around the league.
The Celtics' big man was on a roll before a concussion sent him to the sidelines. He did not play in Boston's win over the Lakers on Wednesday and will have to progress through the league's mandated concussion protocol, a multi-step procedure in which the injured individual must complete a series of assessments.
The first step requires a player to be completely symptom-free at rest. Symptoms associated with concussions can vary but often include headache, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Once the symptoms have dissipated, the injured player must pass a neurocognitive test, most likely the ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test.
The test is carried out a computer and analyzes the individual's current status through an assortment of neuropsychological tests, including memory recall, shape and color recognition, and matching. The results are then compared to a set of baseline data gathered on each athlete prior to the start of the season. The affected athlete must have their ImPACT scores return to their initial baseline numbers before progressing to the next phase of the protocol.
Next, an athlete must remain symptom free following a gradual increase of activity. The progression starts with a simple exercise like riding a stationary bike before advancing to basketball-related activities and ultimately non-contact team drills.
Once the player has completed these steps, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the Director of the NBA's Concussion Program,