BOSTON -- Celtics forward Kevin Garnett will miss his seventh consecutive game Monday night with a sprained right calf, but coach Doc Rivers said the team is hopeful he'll be back for Wednesday's tilt with the Sacramento Kings.
Garnett did not participate in Monday's morning shootaround and, while he's experienced no setbacks in his recovery, Rivers suggested he's simply not ready to resume game activity.
"Not tonight, maybe Wednesday," said Rivers. "I didn't even ask [about his status] -- him and [team trainer] Eddie [Lacerte], the way we left it, we had a little morning shootaround and he didn't participate, so that meant he wasn't ready. Honest to God, I didn't even ask. He'll tell us and so will Eddie. It's not a pressing issue for me.
"He's moving good. It'll be very soon."
Rivers said he's not sure if Garnett will participate in Tuesday's scheduled practice (the first one for Boston since its holiday road trip), but said he could be back Wednesday, which would be the exact end of the two-week time frame the team offered after the initial injury, suffered in Detroit on Dec. 28.
The Celtics are 4-2 without Garnett, coming off a week in which they played five games in seven days. The Rockets, losers of five straight games, are so dinged up themselves that there wasn't a need to rush Garnett back. Regardless, it's been the Celtics' practice this season to allow injured players to get to full strength before putting them back on the court.
Rivers said Garnett's injury hasn't drastically affected the team's game preparation.
"We’re going to do what we do," Rivers said. "[Injuries affected] the one little stretch where we didn’t know if [Jermaine O'Neal] would play, or if [Rajon] Rondo would play. That affected us a little bit. Right now, it's not as bad. It’s really just Kevin. For the most part, J.O. and [Shaquille O'Neal] seem to be OK, so they’re playing."
A few more pregame notes:
* Celtics center Kendrick Perkins is battling the flu, which might slightly detour his plan to resume full-team, full-contact practice sessions for the first time since tearing his right ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June. After waiting six months for his knee to heal so he could get back on the court, it might be hard for a viral infection to detour him Tuesday.
* Rivers admitted that losses like Saturday's offensive dud are inevitable over the course of an 82-game season, but wants his team to find ways to still emerge with Ws. "I want to win those games. It all frustrated us, and you could see it in our play. We got in the way of our ourselves and didn’t allow us to win the game. You can play poorly and still win a game. But mentally, we couldn't get past playing poorly and still try to win the game the other night."
* Celtics guard Delonte West got up some shots on the Garden floor before Monday's game, another encouraging sign in his recovery from a fractured right wrist.