The Celtics got good news on the Delonte West injury front, as he appears to be one step closer to making his way back onto the court for the Celtics.
Speaking with reporters before Wednesday night's 86-82 win against the Pistons, West anticipated a return to practice within 2-3 weeks.
"I've been cleared to workout with out my brace on and start strengthening and I can handle the basketball now, so that's great news," West said.
West broke his right (non-shooting) wrist in just his fifth game back after a ten-game suspension. After being nudged by Travis Outlaw mid-air on a layup attempt, West came down hard on his right wrist, breaking it.
He's been out ever since, but has worked hard to be ready to go when the wrist is fully healed.
"You've got to continue to be professional about it," West said. "You have to still come in and get your work in and get your conditioning in. It's like an all year training camp for me but we're training for something special, so I don't mind at all."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers assumes that West is on schedule, but is certainly in no hurry to bring him back.
"It's more of a healing thing now more than anything even though he can do all that stuff (run and shoot)," Rivers said. "You still have to make sure because it's the wrist, if someone hits it and it's not right. In this case you absolutely have to wait until the MRI's say that he can play. I don't think [doctors and trainers] are going to give him an opportunity; they're not going to put him in harms way because one slap and he's hurt again.
West, who is scheduled for a CAT scan next Tuesday, says, "As far as dealing with the pain and the rotation, I'm actually ahead of schedule."
For the past weeks, West could be seen taking jumpers with his good hand, but didn't put any pressure on his right wrist. With the brace off, he's able to do that now - but is easing his way back in.
"Not catching just yet, still a little timid but I'm getting there," he said. "But as far as dribbling and trying to do whatever I can with the right hand, I'm permitted to do that.
"Obviously I'm naturally timid to catch anything or fall on it but each day my confidence with the right hand and the strength is getting better."
Everybody remembers the injury to Marquis Daniels' thumb last season (he also left last night's game with an ankle injury). He never seemed right the rest of the season. West admits that his wrist may not get back to 100-percent this season, but he's still going to be able to play fine.
Doc Rivers isn't worried about it either.
"He's been injured a lot in his career, so he's pretty good at coming back from them," Rivers said.