Late December return for Bradley?

Updated: September 24, 2012, 3:58 PM ET
By Jackie MacMullan | ESPNBoston.com

Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, who underwent separate offseason surgeries on his shoulders, is "nowhere near ready" to participate in the team's training camp, which opens on Friday, coach Doc Rivers said.

"Not even close,'' Rivers told ESPNBoston.com. "I don't like to put a time limit on injuries, but I don't think you'll see him before December -- and there's a chance it could be closer to January.''

The 21-year-old Bradley gamely tried to fight through a series of dislocations of his left shoulder, but finally had to be shut down during the playoffs and had the left shoulder surgically repaired. He later had his right shoulder repaired in early July.

A source said in July that Bradley would likely be ready in time for training camp in September, but the Celtics later acknowledged he could miss the early part of the season.

Early last month, Bradley said he wasn't sure when he'd be able to fully resume basketball activities.

"For any athlete, especially me being a young athlete, it's hard for me to not to be able to wake up every day and play the game of basketball," Bradley said. "It's hard for me. I just have to take it day by day and let my body heal itself."

The emergence of Bradley last season is one of the reasons Rivers felt comfortable moving veteran Ray Allen to the second unit to provide some pop off the bench.

Bradley proved to be a relentless defensive player who melded well with the high-octane Rajon Rondo in pressuring opponents. The tandem of the athletic young guards accounted for some of the most electric plays of Boston's season.

Just don't expect to see the duo in the early part of the Celtics' season.

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg was used in this report.

Jackie MacMullan

ESPNBoston.com columnist

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