Bass has no choice but to miss games, heal knee


Bass has no choice but to miss games, heal knee

WALTHAM Brandon Bass was back on the Boston Celtics practice court Monday afternoon.

Not so fast, Celtics Nation.

Bass missed Sunday's win over Chicago due to swelling in his left knee. The 6-foot-8 forward told that he's likely out until sometime after the all-star break.

The swelling in the knee, he says, has been an issue all season long for him.

Bass has been the Celtics' most consistent scorer off the bench all season. And with his steady play, the C's began to shake off their early season slump and surge ahead with several victories.

"That's why I kept playing while I was injured," Bass said. "I didn't want to sit out. I was playing good, so was the team."

But Bass understands the big picture here in Boston.

As much as he would love to be out there playing, he understands that the Celtics are focused more on building toward a strong finish and then being ready to do damage in the playoffs.

Still, that doesn't make it any easier for Bass who is averaging 11.6 points per game which is tops among Celtics reserves this season.

"It's tough," said Bass, who added that the leg was getting weaker the more he played. "So hopefully sitting out will help it get stronger, and I can get back and help us finish strong going into the playoffs."

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally


Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.