BOSTON -- Ray Allen has missed more than 10 games this season due to right and left ankle injuries. As the Boston Celtics look ahead to their playoff push, health is of the utmost importance to the 16-year veteran guard.
In order to maintain his ankles, Allen, who has sat out the past four games with a sore right ankle, is paying extra attention to another part of his body: his calves.
He attributes some of his ankle problems over the years to his over-sized muscles. Allen underwent double ankle surgery in 2007.
"Ive been told that I have huge calf muscles my whole life," Allen, 36, said earlier this month. "But theyre always like the bane of my pain, of my existence, because I always feel tightness in there. When they do get tight, it keeps my ankles from moving."
Allen missed three games in January with a jammed left ankle. He suffered a sore right ankle in March after slipping on a wet spot in a game against the Clippers in Los Angeles. Allen played through the injury and has been limited since then. He missed six games from March 23 through April 1 and returned for five games (four off the bench), but has not played since April 10.
In order to increase flexibility and stability in his ankles, Allen wears Phiten titanium discs on both calves and, as of late, Kinesio tape on his right calf during games. He has also become more aggressive stretching his calves before he plays.
"One thing weve been working on is getting them loose so they dont keep my ankles from moving and being able to develop those muscles down there," Allen said. "When Im running around and my muscles arent working, I have more of a tendency to roll it."
Allen is averaging 14.2 points (45.8 FG, 45.3 3PG), 3.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists this season. Second-year guard Avery Bradley has started at the shooting guard spot in 13 of the last 14 games.