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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Practice notes: KG's absence continues

By Chris Forsberg

WALTHAM, Mass. -- A collection of news and notes after the Boston Celtics practiced Tuesday afternoon at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint:

Celtics coach Doc Rivers held Kevin Garnett out of Tuesday's contact-filled practice session and said Garnett is doubtful for Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings.

"I doubt he’ll play tomorrow," said Rivers. "Again, there’s a chance, but I doubt it.

"[Garnett] did some running on the treadmill and all the stuff in the weight room. We were on the floor, we went full-court, so he couldn’t [participate]. He did do some sliding up and down, I just don’t think he’s ready yet."

Garnett has sat out the last seven games after suffering a strained right calf in a loss to the Detroit Pistons in late December. The Celtics are 4-3 in that stretch, losing their last two games, which Rivers suggested has Garnett fighting to get back on the court.

But Rivers is trying to prevent him from rushing back too soon.

"He's just not ready yet," said Rivers. "He’s close, very close. But you know how I am with that. I think he wants to play, I’ll put it that way. I just don’t think he should play yet."


Celtics center Kendrick Perkins hoped to resume full-contact, full-team exercises Tuesday, but said that plan has been delayed a week as team physician Dr. Brian McKeon suggested giving his surgically repaired right knee an extra week to heal.

Perkins still went through skeleton drills and worked out, but full-team contact won't come until next week now.

"[Perkins] didn’t do anything live," said Rivers. "We went pretty hard and I didn’t want him out there in that. He did skeleton stuff, did some running up and down. But we had a lot of contact and I didn’t want him to be part of that."

Perkins tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and underwent surgery a month later. He admitted he's eager to get back on the court, but he also realizes he's just five months removed from surgery and knows another week won't detour him.

In fact, Perkins said he's still targeting a late-January return, suggesting he needs a mere two weeks of practice to shake the rust. Perkins is also getting over a short bout with a stomach bug, which he suggested might simply have been a mild case of food poisoning.

"I'm anxious to get back out there," said Perkins. "At the same time, I know it's in my best interest [to wait]. One more week is one more week."


Celtics guard Delonte West got back on the court Monday for the first time since fracturing his right wrist in mid-November and got up shots for a second straight day Tuesday. He's extremely limited in what he can do, but expressed great satisfaction in being able to participate in basketball activities.

"I’m not allowed to catch the basketball or dribble it just yet," said West. "I'm getting there. Honestly, just to get some work in, it's a positive."

West hesitated to pinpoint a date for his potential return, but acknowledged that he'd like to be back -- or at least back practicing -- before the All-Star break (Feb. 18-20).

He also admitted that looks can be deceiving and he still has to remind himself about his limitations. Fortunately, the wrist has a way of prompting him.

"Even just trying to get up off the couch, you feel the pain," said West. "That reminds you real fast. Pain is a hell of a reminder."

The always affable West playfully joked with reporters about filling his time by watching videos to prevent any such reoccurrence of a wrist injury.

"I've been looking at like Karate masters on YouTube, honestly, learning how to fall -- tuck and roll and all that, jump up and Judo kicks," said West, leaving reporters laughing throughout his brief session. "I don’t plan on breaking this thing any time soon, so cameramen on the baseline, watch out for the Judo kick."

(Click HERE to see West getting up shots Tuesday).


* Celtics guard Ray Allen participated fully in Tuesday's session and appeared no worse for the wear after enduring some left shoulder and left side soreness after running into a blindside screen in Monday's loss to the Rockets.

"He shot it every time, so I’m going to say yes [he's fine]," said Rivers. "I don’t think there's any issue with the shoulder, probably a little stinger at the time on that illegal pick."

* Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show Tuesday, reporter Stephen A. Smith suggested that Rasheed Wallace wanted to come out of retirement and join the Celtics for a playoff run. One Boston player, asked about the situation, said he hadn't heard any such rumors, though he suggested those in the Celtics' locker room wouldn't be opposed to such an addition. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said earlier this month that the Celtics didn't have room for Wallace and, with Von Wafer and West's contracts going guaranteed last week, Boston would be on the hook to eat at least a minimum salary contract if it wanted to add a player with the roster currently maxed out at 15 players. For now, at least, it appears the desire to return might simply be more on the player's side than that of the club.