Derrick White updates his ear injury: “I’m hearing a little better — when I want to”


BOSTON — It’s been two weeks since Derrick White suffered a scary ear injury in an overtime loss in Milwaukee, and he is still dealing with some difficulty hearing. But he’s getting better, and now he has an excuse if he doesn’t want to hear something, White told reporters on Wednesday.

That’s probably not the best thing to say with head coach Joe Mazzulla in earshot. But White likely has a free pass for playing through the injury, which led to an interesting 24 hours stretch for the Celtics guard.

He suffered the ailment back on Feb. 14 courtesy of an errant elbow from Bucks guard Grayson Allen. White stayed in that game (a necessity, considering the Celtics were down four starters for the tilt) and was the C’s leading scorer with 27 points. But he did not fly back to Boston with the team, and instead remained in Milwaukee to see an ear specialist the next day.

White was diagnosed with a hole in his eardrum and was in a considerable amount of pain, but he missed no time. He flew back to Boston after his appointment in Milwaukee and was in the Celtics’ starting lineup just a few hours later, scoring 11 points in a win over the Pistons.

Two weeks later, White is hearing much better. And the injury also gives him a built-in excuse in case he doesn’t want to hear.

“I feel like it’s getting better. I’m hearing a little better — when I want to,” White joked Wednesday after Boston’s morning shootaround. “I just try to not get it wet. It’s pretty simple.”

It has led to a rather interesting practice in the shower, where White has to fold his ear down before getting his curly mane wet. But all things considered, a little inconvenience in the shower is much better than going deaf in the ear.

“It was just a weird, freak play. I’m just thankful I didn’t go deaf like I thought I did in the split second that it happened,” White said Wednesday. 

It’s great news for the Celtics that White didn’t miss any time and has his hearing back, however selective it may be at the moment. He’s the only player on the Boston roster to play in all 62 games this season, averaging 12 points per game while shooting a career-best 38.4 percent from 3-point range. He’s been on an absolute tear over his last 16 games, averaging 18 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds, helping keep Boston afloat while dealing with injuries to Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown.

“This is what I love to do,” said White. “If I’m healthy and able, I’m going to go out and compete.”


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