BOSTON Chris Wilcox was probably in grade school the last time he tried to pick up a basketball and couldn't palm it.
But that's exactly what he's dealing with now as he tries to recover from a right thumb injury suffered during a spill against Chicago on Dec. 18.
Wilcox got a bit of good news recently when he learned that the injury won't require surgery and that a more definitive timeline for his return will likely be made when he visits with doctors on Tuesday.
"I thought I just jammed it (against Chicago), so I just taped it up and stuff," Wilcox said.
But he soon discovered that the injury was more serious, as it limited him from doing some of the most basic things - like palm a basketball.
"I went to grab the ball, and I couldn't even palm it," Wilcox said. "I couldn't grab it or nothing; it was killing me."
He soon consulted with team doctors who informed him that he would have to take some time off and let the injury heal.
Since the injury, Wilcox has been working out while wearing a protective sleeve around the thumb area.
Although it was initially believed he would be out until the end of January, the prognosis on his return may change depending on how things go when he meets with doctors next week.
Wilcox has had an injury-plagued career since signing with the Celtics last season, so this is indeed par for the course for him. He also had season-ending heart surgery last spring.
This injury, much like previous ones, came at a time when the 10-year veteran was starting to find his niche with this team. He was Kevin Garnett's primary backup in addition to being one of Rajon Rondo's favorite players to pass the ball to in transition for easy dunks.
This season, Wilcox is averaging 4.7 points per game along with 2.3 rebounds. He's also leading the Celtics with 20 dunks.
And like most of his injuries, this one also falls into the fluky-but-true category.
"You don't really know how much you need your thumb," Wilcox said. "If it had been like any other finger, you could just tape it together. But you can't really tape your thumb or nothing."