After being limited for much of the past two weeks because of what he originally thought were back spasms, Celtics guard Delonte West revealed Tuesday that he's actually pinpointed a different injury and expects to be back on the court later this week.
"It turned out to be my glute muscles," said West, who has appeared in only three preseason games and has not stepped on the court since an Oct. 10 visit from Toronto. "It tightened up on me and I wasn't quite sure where the pain was coming from. As time went on and we gave it a rest, the pain started to circulate to one region and we pinpointed the area. It ended up being my left glute. It's just about 100 percent gone now."
West does not expect to play in Wednesday's exhibition finale against the New Jersey Nets, but hopes to be back on the practice floor later in the week. Given his 10-game suspension to start the season, West had hoped to use the eight-game preseason slate to work himself into shape. But the three-week delayed start will allow him to get healthy before being eligible for game action on Nov. 17.
"I need a little bit of time to work myself back into the lineup," said West. "There are guys out there in front of me right now. I'm starting from the bottom up again.
"But I'm very comfortable playing with the guys. I'm studying and I know all the sets. I'm a basketball player and I know [coach Doc Rivers'] system. I know what guys want to do, where they want the ball. I'll be back in practice this week, hopefully by the end of this week, and I'll be right back in the flow of things."
The extra time from the suspension is a small silver lining to his situation.
"No question, you've got to take the pluses and the minuses," said West. "You can't ever be down about anything. It is a positive. I'll use the 10 games to learn, see the flow of things and see how I can contribute. I'll use that time to rest and get 100 percent healthy.
"I'm about two percent away right now."
CELTICS MAKE A TINY ROSTER MOVE TO ADD DEPTH BEFORE SEASON
Chris Forsberg/ESPN BostonRookie Tiny Gallon joined the Celtics as a camp invitee Tuesday.
Gallon, a second-round draft choice (47th overall) taken five spots in front of Celtics rookie Luke Harangody, understands that Boston has a maxed-out roster, but he's here trying to make an impression around the league. (And if another opportunity doesn't come along, the Celtics could always try to funnel him through to the Maine Red Claws using the D-League's new affiliation rule).
"The roster is filled up here, so this is a learning experience being here," said Gallon, whose name and highlight-worthy dunks have earned him some buzz. "I appreciate [the opportunity]. Being down here, I know Kendrick from Houston and I know [Shaquille O'Neal] a little bit. Coming down here is a learning experience."
Rivers offered only shrugs about the addition.
"I know nothing about him," said Rivers. "[Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is] going to look at him and wants to work him out, stuff like that. We're doing it more for that."
With Jermaine O'Neal sidelined with hand and back ailments, Gallon also provides another big body for the practice rotation.
LOOSE BALLS: BABY INTROS, 'SHEED IN THE HOUSE
* Baby on the mic: Celtics forward Glen Davis gleefully accepted the duty of introducing the entire roster, including 17 players, the coaching staff and trainers, to the Garden faithful during Tuesday's session. During a five-minute and often-hilarious segment, Davis paced the center of the Garden floor, offering mini bios on each of his teammates (highlighted by a suggestion that Mario West looks like, "my uncle Ray Ray," which had the Boston starters in stitches along the bench). Check out the video above to watch his team introductions.
Chris Forsberg / ESPN BostonRasheed Wallace (left, in red) sits near Kendrick Perkins and Danny Ainge during Tuesday's session.
* 'Sheed in the house: Rasheed Wallace, whom the team officially waived in August, extending a buyout on the two remaining years on his contract in order to facilitate his retirement, made an appearance at the open session. Decked out in red Philadelphia Phillies gear and sunglasses, Wallace spent most the night laughing with his former teammates.
After Davis' introductions, the crowd started a "Sheed" chant and Rivers ran down next to him and raised Wallace's arm to acknowledge it. Later, as the session closed down, Wallace stepped off the bench and hoisted a corner 3-pointer. The result? Airball and more laughter.
Neither his appearance, nor that lackluster audition, will do anything to stem the thoughts that Wallace could end up back in Boston as a late-season addition if there's a need for another big.
* Nate with the steal; Bradley with the assist: Ray Allen took off his practice shoes after the session, signed them, and was preparing to distribute them to some lucky fans when Nate Robinson raced over and stole one of the two kicks. When Allen playfully chased the reserve guard to retrieve it, Robinson chucked it into the stands (setting off a scrum for the prize). The second sneaker ended up in the hands of rookie Avery Bradley, who threw a gentler toss to the crowd. (See the video embedded above.)