WALTHAM Chris Wilcox isn't quite ready to rejoin his Boston Celtics teammates for practice.
But Thursday was indeed a step in that direction for the 6-foot-10 forward who is still recovering from a right thumb injury.
Wilcox was among the Celtics players on the floor prior to Thursday's light workout.
"I'm out here today going through the motions," Wilcox said. "I got it taped up and stuff; just see how it feels, see what I'm comfortable with."
Wilcox has had a thin wrap around the injured area. It is now taped up with a smaller version of the wrap underneath the tape.
Prior to the injury, Wilcox was playing some of his best basketball as a Celtic. He was Kevin Garnett's primary backup and a favorite target for Rajon Rondo on lob passes.
Now, all he can do is wait and wonder when he'll get another chance to get back on the floor.
"Man, it's been terrible watching," said Wilcox, who missed a significant chunk of last season after undergoing season-ending heart surgery. "Since last season, all I've been doing is watching. I'm ready to just get out there and play."
But he understands his return, while certainly one that will make the C's deeper, comes at a time when Boston (18-17) has played some of their basketball of the season.
"We rolling now," Wilcox said. "I just want to get healthy and get back right. The bench has been big for us lately. I just want to come and try to help and contribute."
He'll get that opportunity soon. Although there's still no definitive timetable for his return, Wilcox expects to be practicing this week and potentially seeing his first action since suffering the injury on Dec. 18 against Chicago.
At the time, it was believed that his injury would sideline him for about a month which puts his return to the court sometime within the next week or so.
That's why he's on the floor today getting a better feel for the injury and exactly how much of an issue is it now in terms of limiting his effectiveness.
"At the end of the day, I just want to go out and play," said Wilcox who said he still can't palm a basketball. "It's frustrating."
But he knows his main goal - to help the Celtics make a deep playoff run - can't come about if he's not healthy.
"Doctors told me it's going to take a while to heal all the way up," Wilcox said. "I have to go out here and see what I'm comfortable with. I just want to go out here and see what I can do and see what I feel comfortable with."