From football to boxing: Bradley's unconventional road to recovery

630410.jpg

From football to boxing: Bradley's unconventional road to recovery

BOSTON -- A football flew across the parquet into the outstretched arms of Avery Bradley. It was an unusual sight during pregame warmups on Saturday as Bradley's teammates took jumpshots and free throws a few feet away before the Boston Celtics took on the Philadelphia 76ers.

Playing catch with a football is one of the ways the Celtics staff is breaking up the monotony of Bradley's lengthy rehabilitation from double shoulder surgery. Bradley has been sidelined since last May and will be re-evaluated in two weeks to determine if he can return to practice this month.

"It was something we do to help my arm strength," Bradley explained to CSNNE.com. "We try to make it fun at the same time. At first I wasn't sure about it. I was like, 'B.Doo (Celtics strength and conditioning coach Bryan Doo), this doesn't make sense.' Once I started doing it, him throwing the ball hard and me extending, I have to do the same thing with a basketball and I have to see if I'm able to do it or not. It definitely helps. This is our second time doing it. Since it helps me out, we will probably continue doing it."

The Celtics have been creative with Bradley's routines, mixing in unconventional workouts and drills to keep him engaged. The 22-year-old guard has taken to the new methods during his recovery.

"We even do boxing," Bradley said. "They put on the gloves and I wear the pads and they punch them so I can receive them like someone's pushing my arm. At first I was boxing and then I stopped and just did the receiving because it was more important. We've been doing that for two weeks. It makes me stronger and it helps me see where I'm at at the same time. Let's say if somebodys pushing my arm, I try to get myself back to being used to those forces and resistance."

The workouts are paying off. After throwing around the football, Bradley got up for a dunk under the watchful eye of his coaches.

"I've been dunking for a while, just trying not to hang on the rim. Now I'm trying to see if I can," he said. "[Saturday] I told B. Doo, 'Watch me dunk so I can see if I can take all my weight hanging down on the rim.' I was able to hang on the rim. I kind of felt like I was at that point but I haven't been doing it because I didn't want to hurt myself. Now I know I am, so I definitely feel the progression every single day working with B. Doo and [Celtics athletic trainer] Ed [Lacerte]."

Bradley isn't making any predictions for his upcoming re-evaluation. He knows the final decision is out of his hands. In the meantime, he is doing everything he can to stay in game shape for when he is given the green light, no matter how tedious the process can be at times.

"I can't really say [what I expect to be told] because it's not up to me," he said. "I'm just going to continue working hard every day like I've been doing. It's hard for me because some of the stuff I don't want to do. I hate doing all the conditioning drills because you feel like you're in shape and it's like, 'Man, I do not feel like doing this every single day.' That's how you feel, I rather be playing than running for no reason. That's probably the hardest part for me. It's boring to me and I do it every day. I'm in good shape. Obviously when I come back, the adrenaline, I'm going to be tired, I'm going to get so excited. I know I'm going to be going so hard, but I'm going to be fine."

Yankees beat Blue Jays, Red Sox have chance to clinch AL East on Tuesday

yankees_blue_jays_092616.jpg

Yankees beat Blue Jays, Red Sox have chance to clinch AL East on Tuesday

For tonight, the Boston Red Sox can say "thank you" to the New York Yankees.

Despite the Toronto Blue Jays loading the bases with no out in the ninth, the Yankees hold on to beat the Blue Jays, 7-5. The result moves the Red Sox' magic number in the AL East to just one game. 

David Price will take the mound for the Red Sox on Tuesday night against those very Yankees with a chance to clinch the division. 

They can also clinch the AL East with a Toronto loss to the Baltimore Orioles. 

Bruins lose preseason opener to Blue Jackets in shootout, 3-2

bruins_blue_jackets_092616.jpg

Bruins lose preseason opener to Blue Jackets in shootout, 3-2

BOSTON – The Bruins ice a young lineup for their preseason opener against the Blue Jackets, and they got some solid results from the next generation of skaters ready to wear the Black and Gold. It wasn’t enough for the win, however, as Sam Gagner won the game in the shootout for the Blue Jackets by a 3-2 score after both Riley Nash and Jake DeBrusk dinged the left post with their first two shootout attempts.

DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Brandon Carlo, Jakub Zboril and Austin Czarnik all had very strong games as young players vying for NHL roster spots with a couple of jobs potentially open at the NHL level.

DeBrusk set up Jimmy Hayes for Boston’s first goal, and Heinen redirected a Carlo point shot past Curtis McElhinney in the third period to tie things up.

Sonny Milano opened up the game’s scoring by beating Anton Khudobin to the short side on a play where the B’s backup goaltender was a little bit sloppy with his technique. Hayes scored to tie things up for the Black and Gold on a nifty transition play up the ice that embodied the “play fast” philosophy that Claude Julien is espousing.

Daniel Zaar added a goal for the Blue Jackets midway through the second period that again gave Columbus the slim one goal lead, but that evaporated in the final 20 minutes when Heinen redirected a Carlo point shot from the slot area past the Blue Jackets netminder.

The Bruins will get back at it with another home preseason game at TD Garden against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.