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MacMullan: Give KG Rest

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Another excellent article from Jackie MacMullen:

kg5.jpgKG is a gamer, an old-school baller who has always insisted on soldiering on with most injuries. That's reason alone to make sure he doesn't aggravate this one, similar to that which ended the career of Hall of Famer Jerry West. Abdominal strains are not something you should play through. If aggravated, they can become debilitating very quickly. Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge need to save Garnett from himself.

Think about it. What's the one thing that could throw a wrench into the plans of a team that is playing and acting like a contender? Easy. A significant injury to Garnett, Ray Allen, or Paul Pierce. The only drawback to the reconfiguration of the Celtics from a bunch of likable, affable young players who couldn't win to a group of hungry, frustrated, focused veterans who plan on winning now was whether a trio of guys who are 31, 32, and 30 years old could stay healthy.

Garnett has never suffered a major injury in 12 seasons, and we're talking about someone who has averaged 38-plus minutes a night and plays harder than just about any current superstar in the NBA. The highest total of games KG has missed in a season because of injury is six - in 2005-06, when he sat out the final half-dozen with knee tendinitis. Last season, Garnett missed one game because of a league suspension and five games with a strained quadriceps.

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Garnett refused to put a timetable on his return. He reported he did some leg lifts while lying on his back the other day, and labeled that "huge, huge, huge progress for me." He's done some light running and continues to receive treatment. He said that in the past, he's been able to "manipulate" injuries with ice, tape, or extra padding, but added, "This is totally different."

"I'm trying to be smart," he said. "In the past, I've looked at some of my injuries as, 'I've been hurt.' This is an injury. This is when I make a certain movement, I have to stop in my tracks."

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Don't expect to see Garnett back in uniform until Feb. 19, when the Celtics start their Western swing in Denver.

Bonus links on Abdominal Muscle Strains: About.com | U of Michigan Health System