ATLANTA — Boston Celtics center Daniel Theis went down with what looked like a nasty ankle injury in the second half of Boston’s game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, but he returned to the bench before the end of the game and – per the team – was available to return.

Theis, however, remained on the bench as the Celtics gutted out an ugly victory, and as he sat on the bench, he said his ankle began to swell up a bit – eliminating him from a return.

“When I walked out I was ready to go back in, but the other guys were playing well,” Theis said after the game. “Then at one point, I was sitting and it got cold and a little stiff and I said, ‘All right, I can’t go back in. Because if I get cold and can’t move the right way, I can’t help the team.’ And they played well.”

According to Coach Brad Stevens, Theis was evaluated for a concussion as well after taking two blows to the head before the ankle injury. Theis was cleared for the concussion as well.

“They told me he was probably good, and then 10 minutes later they told me (the ankle) was starting to be sore, so I wasn’t going to put him in unless – I probably wasn’t going to put him in regardless,” Stevens said. “My hope was not to put him in.”

Theis said the bones in his ankle are fine, and he expects the injury is just a sprain.

“Last time I thought it was going to take me out for a couple games, and I played the next game,” Theis said. “So, hopefully I’m going to play on Wednesday.”

The Celtics take on the Orlando Magic on Wednesday before playing the Hawks again on Friday.

BROWN HAS FAMOUS FAN: Jaylen Brown on Monday was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week by the NBA. But on a personal level, he received an even larger seal of approval when he ran into Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins.

“You’re representing home well,” ‘Nique said to Brown, an Atlanta-area native.

“I’m trying to,” said the Celtic wing, who averaged 25.8 points on 55.8 percent shooting and pulled down 6.3 rebounds as the Celtics went 3-0 in the span ending Sunday. “I’ve got big shoes to fill.”

“You there, brother,” said Wilkins. “Don’t even worry about that.”

Told that Brown made a strong case for the All-Star game, ‘Nique said, “You’re damn right. That boy’s playing his (butt) off.

“I’ve know this guy since he was a kid. I saw guys like Lou Williams and Derrick Favors and Jaylen grow up. I knew them as kids. I remember how big he was for a guy his age – and he was physical. He had size and he was athletic. He was big for his age.”

Wilkins is even more impressed by Brown now.

“He’s acted like a consummate professional,” he said. “There were times when he heard different things, like was he going to get traded or not, and he hung in there and he grew as a basketball player. He grew as a person. He’s always shown respect, and I love guys like that.”

Stevens said of Brown’s second Player of the Week honor this season: “I thought it was a no-brainer that he got it. I haven’t watched the whole rest of the league; that’s probably not fair. But he was awesome in all three games, and I thought that Miami game he set a tone with his defense, and then his offense followed suit. I thought he was good against Golden State, and then I thought same thing against Philly. His defense was excellent and then his offense followed suit. He’s a really good player. We’ve talked the whole time about those awards are wonderful, but they’re subjective, so you shouldn’t wrap your value or identity around those things. Those are nice to put into a bookshelf, but that’s about it.”

INJURY UPDATES: The Celtics got Enes Kanter back against the Hawks after five games out with a right hip contusion.

But Marcus Smart was on the shelf with a bruised thigh suffered in Saturday’s win over Philadelphia when he helped out low on defense and Joel Embiid spun into him.

Robert Williams, out since Dec. 6 with a left hip edema, appears to getting closer to a return.

“He had a scan on Friday and continued to look good,” said Stevens. “They’re going to continue to up his work, and then he’ll meet again with his specialist, I believe this week. I’m not sure when.”

Comments are not available on this story.