CHICAGO Avery Bradley had a great first day of practice on Monday, feeling just as good 24 hours later as he did during practice.
But it's just one practice, which is why the Celtics will remain cautious with his return. It's looking more and more like that will come sometime in January.
"We'll try to get a few weeks of practice under my belt before I start thinking about playing in a game," said Bradley, who underwent offseason surgery on both shoulders. "Right now we're taking it day-by-day still, just seeing how I feel. As of now, I feel great."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers had similar thoughts on Bradley's first full-contact practice with the team in about six months.
"He practiced great, didn't need a lot of rest," Rivers said. "The good thing about a shoulder injury is that your legs could stay in shape."
True, but a big part of Bradley's defensive has been his ability to fight through picks and screens which puts added pressure on both of his surgically repaired shoulders.
For Bradley, the fact that he didn't feel any kind of pain or soreness in either shoulder after a 90-minute practice in which he did have to fight through some screens and picks, was very encouraging.
"I felt good," he said. "I felt like the trainers got me prepared, the doctors . . . they knew what to do to get me ready to practice. It showed because I didn't have any setback or hurting at all, moving a certain way or playing scared. I was just out there playing."