BOSTON -- Celtics center Kendrick Perkins said Tuesday night that he will undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament next Wednesday and suggested he'd be sidelined at least five to six months as he recovers from the right knee injury sustained in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Perkins looked fit while arriving to the Celtics' charity Spirit of Boston sunset cruise alongside Cedric Maxwell and nimbly hopped over a rope while navigating the seaside red carpet. Perkins said he's taking a few weeks to strengthen the knee before surgery, hoping to shorten the recovery time.
"I feel good, I've been here, trying to strengthen [the ACL] before I go into surgery," said Perkins. "I'm working with [team trainer] Ed [Lacerte] -- a lot of leg work and icing trying to get the swelling all the way down, a lot of treatment before I go in for surgery."
Perkins originally believed he tore the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments, but further testing revealed the more severe ACL injury. He was scheduled to have surgery last week, but was advised to delay the procedure in order to shorten the recovery. He's walking fine, but admitted his hamstring is sore, a sign he's compensating for the weakened knee.
"I was hurt at first, to be out so long and away from the game of basketball," said Perkins. "At the end of the day, it's something I've got to deal with. I'll make sure I rehab and come back like I'm supposed to. If I have to be out for like five to six months, that’s what it is."
He's as banged up mentally as he is physically. Perkins admitted it's been a difficult two weeks, watching his team lose Game 7 of the Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers and now dealing with his uncertain future as Boston braces for potential wholesale changes heading into the 2010-11 season.
"It's been weird," said Perkins. "Every day it's been different for me -- different trade rumors, guys may opt out or whatever it may be [and] worried if your coach is coming back. Sooner or later, somebody is going to have to speak up, whatever it may be. It's going to have to come to an end sooner or later, that's how I feel about it. But it's been tough the last few days."
Perkins said he had been in touch with coach Doc Rivers, who could walk away from the Boston bench to spend more time with his family, but said the two have not discussed Rivers' future. Perkins also said he had not talked with Paul Pierce (who has until midnight Wednesday to opt out of his contract) or Ray Allen (unrestricted free agent starting Thursday).
Perkins also heard the draft-day rumors about a potential trade involving him, but said it's just part of the sport.
"I know this is a business," said Perkins. "I'm at the practice facility every day so I talked to [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge]. Danny told me, if he was going to trade me, he'll tell me first -- he's got nothing to hide from me. It's just rumors."
Perkins said he was excited to be on the cruise, noting that he loves water. Before he undergoes surgery, he plans to log some more time there, as he plans to go fishing with assistant coach Clifford Ray before going under the knife.