Bradley starts conditioning, set to return mid-December

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Bradley starts conditioning, set to return mid-December

WALTHAM Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley is on schedule to be back in the C's lineup by the middle of December, according to head coach Doc Rivers and Bradley.

"I didn't think I would be feeling this good right now," Bradley said. "Right now, I feel good. I started conditioning today, started lifting with the strength coach today. I feel like I'm moving forward the way I'm supposed to."

Bradley underwent surgery on both shoulders; first the left one which had more damage, and then the right one.

He has not been cleared to participate in contact drills, but it's clear that he's itching to get back on the floor soon.

"I'm sitting there, sometimes I go into the huddle and the coach you can see he wants to call my name but I have to take my time," Bradley said.

The timetable for Chris Wilcox, however, isn't quite so definitive.

Although most of the attention on Wilcox has been centered around the heart surgery he had six months ago, the 6-foot-10 forward is sidelined now with back spasms.

Rivers said he is "a ways away" from returning.

Wilcox said his focus now is on strengthening his core, which was significantly weakened after his season-ending surgery in March.

"None of this (heart) is even a question now," Wilcox said. "Just my lower back, is telling me I need to slow down a little bit; I'm rushing it, moving a little too fast. It's tough. When you're competitive and you see these guys go hard every day, you want a piece of it. I just have to take my time and get right."

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

BOSTON – Wednesday’s 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks was the fifth time in the last six games that Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley was out because of a right Achilles injury.

Well, it appears the 6-foot-2 guard may miss a few more with this injury.

“I can see him missing a little more time,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said following Wednesday’s loss. “I just think maybe he came back a little bit too early, whatever the case may be.”

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Bradley was expected to play against the Knicks, but was a last-minute scratch.

Celtics big man Al Horford said he didn’t find out Bradley was out until the team was on the floor doing pre-game warmups and he didn’t see him.

“He was really sore,” Stevens said of Bradley. “Went through our walk-through and then came on to the court and did some stuff and was more sore today than he has been. I think he did treatment the whole game.”

This latest setback for Bradley is part of a growing narrative that has dogged him throughout his career which has included him missing games to injury in each of his six-plus NBA seasons.

Bradley came into this season once again hoping to be as injury-free as possible, only to see that dream dashed with this right Achilles strain he's suffering with currently.

Still, there’s no downplaying the significance and value the Celtics have in the 26-year-old. This season, he is second on the Celtics in scoring at 17.7 points per game and leads them in rebounds with 6.9 per game with both being career highs. In addition, he averages just under 35 minutes per game which is also tops on the team.

Marcus Smart has been Stevens’ choice to replace Bradley in the starting lineup when Bradley has been unavailable, and that’s not likely to change between now and Saturday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.