Celtics' Jaylen Brown struggling to recover after COVID battle: 'My body hasn't felt the same'

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown made it back from his COVID-19 diagnosis earlier this month in time for their season-opener, but his journey with the disease isn’t over yet.

Brown said Friday that he’s still dealing with the aftereffects of his coronavirus bout, and he sometimes feels like after playing one game he’s played three at the same time.

"I've noticed in the last couple of days — what, four games for me now? — my body hasn't recovered the same in a sense. I’ve been talking to our medical staff about that,” he said, via NBC Sports Boston.

"Like, I feel great. And then it feels like instead of playing one game, it kind of feels like I played three. I'm used to my body responding and recovering a lot faster. I know I just turned 25, but this can't be what it looks like on the other side."

Brown revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 8. He sat out 10 days and then returned in time for their opener against the New York Knicks on Oct. 20.

He shined in that double-overtime loss at Madison Square Garden, too, dropping 46 points in 46 minutes. He put up 30 points in their overtime win against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, too.

His other two games, though, weren’t as great. Brown made only a combined eight field goals in those two home losses, and scored only 13 points in their loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

A lot of the issues he’s having, Brown said, are with breathing and joint pain — both of which have made it harder to recover the right way.

"As I continue to fight through it and continue to play more games and get the right stuff into my system, it will get better," Brown said. "Right now, it has been inconsistent. I think that's obvious. But my body hasn't felt the same."

Jaylen Brown fine with Ime Udoka’s criticism

Brown isn’t the only one who has noticed his issues so far this season.

Celtics coach Ime Udoka kind of called him out after Wednesday’s loss, too, calling it “mind-boggling.”

“I’m trying to ramp him up during the game, pump him up to get going,” Udoka said, via MassLive. “But the contrast of some of those previous games — especially Charlotte and the New York game and the way you see him come out [Wednesday] — is kind of mind-boggling.”

Brown wasn’t offended by Udoka’s criticism. In his eyes, it’s spot on.

And until he can put his coronavirus bout completely behind him, Brown knows it’s going to be a struggle at times going forward.

"Ime came and talked to me about it yesterday," Brown said Friday, via ESPN. "It didn't bother me. It's mind-boggling to me, too. I was surprised that my body didn't respond the way it normally responds. I'm usually able to have that zip, that pop, flying up and down the court, but it wasn't there. I think that was obvious.

"I don't think he was out of line or anything for that. I gotta be better and get with my medical staff and figure how to get my body to the point where I feel normal. Some days I feel fantastic and then it's like two, three days, it takes my body too long to feel fantastic again. That's an issue for me. As I navigate that, we have to still tighten up on the details, tighten up on our defense and find a way to win games. Even though I don't feel the same on the court, I could still be better in certain areas and detailed in certain areas. That's more the conversation that we have."

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics
Celtics star Jaylen Brown is still struggling with the effects of the coronavirus. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)