Allen: 'I know structurally that my ankle is sound'

694094.jpg

Allen: 'I know structurally that my ankle is sound'

BOSTON -- After missing the last six games with a sore right ankle, Ray Allen will return to the Celtics starting lineup on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs. He is not limited in minutes and will wear his usual tape on his ankle, no extra protection.

Its interesting, he said. I just know my body so well and the difference coming in today and even practicing yesterday, its a night and day difference. Just being able to push, get lifts, and again, tonight well see.

Allen has not played since March 23, but his injury actually dates back to March 12 when he slid on a wet spot and rolled his ankle during a game against the Clippers in Los Angeles. Allen left the court, but did return, only to tweak it again two days later against the Golden State Warriors.

Even though he felt pain, he wanted to help his team during their eight-game road trip. Eventually, the swelling caused so much discomfort and trouble with mobility that he made the decision to sit out until he felt like he could be effective on the court.

Ive always known to give my body time, but were playing so many games I never gave it time. One day it just said, Im not letting you move. Im not letting you go anywhere, he said, adding, The decision was mine because I couldnt do what I needed to do to help this team.

Allen underwent an MRI which did not reveal any structural damage to the previously surgically-repaired ankle.

"I know structurally that my ankle is sound," he said.

Allen expects to feel some rustiness when he first takes the floor -- You never go into the game thinking everythings going to be where its supposed to be from where it was the last time, he said -- and will manage his play during his return just as he does throughout the season.

In this condensed season, he knows playing through some type of bumps and bruises are part of the schedule.

I dont know what 100 percent feels like, he said. During the season, its really hard to say. That number is mythical. I dont know anybody in this locker room thats felt that. You just kind of manage what you can. If you can get out there and do your job, thats what you strive for.

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

RELATED

The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability. 
 

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Monday, Jan. 15: Matthews jersey sells for big money

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
 
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
 
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.

*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.

*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
 
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
 
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
 
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
 
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.