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Celtics Get Good News on Three Big Injuries

Perk will trade in the suit for a jersey soon.
Perk will trade in the suit for a jersey soon.

The Celtics didn't need Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, and Delonte West for Friday night's easy win over the Raptors, but it won't be long until those three are joining in on the fun.

The Celtics got some great news before Friday night's game.

No, they're not allowed to play the Raptors every week for the rest of the season.

They are, however, just a few weeks away from maybe, just maybe, being a completely healthy basketball team (Not counting Jermaine O'Neal - he will never be completely healthy).

First, the news on KG:

"He's shooting and doing everything," Doc Rivers told the media. "I think he'll be back early next week. I think he'll be back by Monday or Wednesday."

Wednesday would put Garnett exactly at the two-week mark the Celtics had originally said he'd be out for, but there's no doubt Garnett wants to get back out there as soon as Rivers will take the leash off.

Garnett's return will give the Celtics four healthy starters from last season, but the fifth piece, Perkins, looks to follow in Garnett's footsteps in the next coming weeks.

Perkins hopes to be back playing in three weeks, and starting very shortly after. He's had no setbacks in his recovery from ACL surgery back in July and takes ever opportunity he can get to work on his game.

"I just try to squeeze in every day, every opportunity I can," Perkins said. "Whether it's a shoot around, a walk through, whatever. I try to get in as much as I can. Just try to get guys after practice to workout with me and play a little against half court games or whatever and just kind of go from there.

Rivers didn't confirm nor deny Perkins' own timetable, but did say that Perk has looked good from the little that he's seen.

"I really haven't seen him much," he said. "When we do our skeleton stuff I've seen him do that and he looks sensational - but I look good doing that too. I just don't know. I know he's been playing three on three with some of the guys. Ty Lue has been doing a lot of it and they say he looks great."

For Perkins, the toughest part is mentally getting over the injury. He could be 100-percent fine physically, but he's got to be that way in his mind as well.

"All of it's mental," Perkins said. "I think obviously it may take a few days for me to get my rhythm back but I think all of it is mental. I believe how much work you put in is what you get out of it. So I try to go hard every day and try to basically bust my butt every day because I just feel like hard work pays off."

Rivers said that trainer Ed Lacerte will make the final call on when and what Perkins can do on the court.

"Whether that will be a full practice or allow him to do some contact," Rivers said. "I wouldn't be surprised, I mean he's going full boar in the three-on-three workout so I don't know why he probably couldn't do full but I just don't know yet."

Perkins' return will certainly change the dynamic of this team. With the lack of production from Jermaine O'Neal this season, the C's are desperately waiting for Perkins to balance out the minutes and get players back to their respective roles.

Upon arrival to the court, Perk expects to start within a few games. Whether or not that happens is a topic for another day. But the move will send Shaquille O'Neal to the bench. He will be joined by Delonte West, who admitted Friday night that he may be later than his original prediction of a mid-January return.

West admitted that he's pushing for the end of January. A more realistic hope would be closer to the All-Star break.

"It's a slow process, but a fah-sho (for sure) process," West said, true to form.

West rotated the wrist a bit when talking with reporters, saying that it's still pretty stiff.

Rivers noted that unlike with Perkins, it will take a little more time for West to get reacquainted with the Celtics on-court style and play.

"The tough part with Del was it felt like Delonte was just starting to get our stuff again and then bam he's out so now you have to re-do that," Rivers said. "Because even though he had been here, there are different things and it will take some time.

For now the C's keep rolling with the punches. One game it's KG. Another it's Rondo. Every game it's Jermaine. Regardless, they continue to put up W's. It's just a matter of time before they're all healthy at once, right?

"We have a deep team, so once the guys get back and get some rhythm it's going to be fun to watch and it's going to be fun to be out there with those guys," Shaquille O'Neal said.

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