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wally1.jpgAthletes have a strange profession.  Their bodies are their tools and they must push their bodies to the extreme outer limits of their capabilities each night just in order to compete.  Their livelihood is based on taking care of their bodies, yet they are criticized if they are overly cautious with them.  The unwritten code is that you are to play hurt up until the point where you are hurting the team by being on the floor.  I'm sure this is a code that players' agents (and wives) find maddeningly stupid.

The Celtics have been so undermanned this year due to injuries that it seems like more people are playing at less than 100% than ever before.

Perkins obviously is in pain and unable to get lift off those feet, but he's still playing.  Last year Al Jefferson was going through the same type of thing and was openly criticized by many in the organization.  Yet we found out later that he had bone spurs in his ankles that required more surgery and time off.  One has to wonder when this playing hurt business crosses the line from macho to stupido.

Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak are just the latest two examples of guys that admit that they should have sat out longer or sooner.  (from the Globe)

West:

He said he is conscious of being labeled injury-prone because of his style. He has missed six games this season and sat out 11 last season. It pained him to ask for the time off because he usually is the last one to admit being hurt.

"It was tough [this time]. I'm trying to shake the label of being injury-prone," he said. "But I felt it was just a matter of rest, it wasn't so much an injury. But every time I played, it kept recurring. Just [having] these few days off, the spasms went away completely. So I'm happy with that."

Wally:

Szczerbiak acknowledged he came back too soon from his most recent ankle injury. "I'm definitely listening to the trainer this time, let's put it that way," he said. "Last time I wanted to get out there and help the guys, with Paul [ Pierce] being out and Delonte being out. I felt like I could give us something. It turns out I was asked to do a lot out there, and I wasn't quite healed. You've got to remember in this league that you play, then you play the next day, and the next day and the next day. Unless you're healed and ready to go, it's a tough situation to deal with. When I come back this time, I will be as close to 100 percent as I can be."