Bradley hopeful recovery time quickens with patient approach

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Bradley hopeful recovery time quickens with patient approach

WALTHAM Patience is the lesson that keeps on teaching when it comes to Avery Bradley who once again finds himself out with an injury heading into training camp.

It seems to be paying off, as Bradley remains on the mend from surgery to both of his shoulders.

During the Boston Celtics' media day on Friday, Bradley said that he is "months ahead" of schedule in his recovery.

If that's the case, there's a chance that he could be back on the floor for the C's sometime in November.

"At first they (doctors) said I was coming back in January, but now they say I'm months ahead," Bradley said. "That makes me feel good that I am making progress."

Bradley hasn't been cleared to do any shooting yet, but instead has been working to strengthen both shoulders and, "try not to do things I'm not supposed to be doing; listen to the doctors. They're so proud of me because I haven't been trying to do too much."

He added," I know if I touched a basketball, I probably would have shot it. I've just been taking my time, listening to everything they tell me to."

And in Bradley's case, doing less means a quicker return to the floor.

The 6-foot-2 guard emerged last season as one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the NBA.

The injuries bothered him throughout this past season, but became too much to handle during the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat last season.

"Throughout the year, I just kept pounding it down," Bradley said of his right shoulder. "My right one started to come out at the beginning of the year and I kept playing through it. Then there was a period I wasn't playing at all so the right one kind of healed itself. Once I started playing, my left one started to I tore everything. It was hard, but I wanted to keep playing. But it got to the point I couldn't play."

In his absence, the Celtics will go with Courtney Lee who was acquired via sign-and-trade this summer from Houston. Bradley understands he will have his hands full if he is to resume his starting job once he's healthy enough to start playing again.

Still, Bradley is adamant in stating that he will not rush his return to the lineup.

"I'm just trying to lay low, not rush anything back," he said. "Just take it day-by-day so that when I come back, I come back strong."

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”