Wilcox (thumb) rehabbing, set to see doctors Tuesday

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Wilcox (thumb) rehabbing, set to see doctors Tuesday

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."

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.