Daniel Gafford out, but making progress


Daniel Gafford will miss his second straight game with a right quad contusion as the Wizards host the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, but it sounds like he will not be out much longer.

Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. shared a positive update before the game, that Gafford has been making strides. He is considered day-to-day and Unseld suggested he is very close to being back in the lineup.

"He’s much better. Still a bit tender. He got him right in the sweet spot," Unseld Jr. said. "He’ll be out tonight, I think it’s more give him another day, day and a half to get his strength back. He got treated this morning and was moving a lot better."

Gafford, 23, hurt himself when colliding with Jaylen Brown on Wednesday night when the Wizards beat the Celtics in Boston. The Wizards played without Gafford the next night at home when they beat the Atlanta Hawks.

After playing the Celtics on Saturday, the Wizards will fly to Atlanta to face the Hawks again. It's not clear yet whether Gafford will travel with the team.

With Gafford out, the Wizards have had to rely heavily on Montrezl Harrell. He has been fantastic for them, but he's had to carry a heavy load with the team's third center, Thomas Bryant, also absent as he recovers from ACL surgery.

Getting Gafford back will be a big plus, as before Saturday's game Unseld Jr. told the media he wants to see improvement from the Wizards with their paint defense. Gafford can help with that more than anyone, as he is their best rim-protector with a team-high 2.0 blocks per game this season.

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