Boston Celtics

Bradley (shoulders) thinks he could return ahead of schedule

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Bradley (shoulders) thinks he could return ahead of schedule

ISTANBUL -- Avery Bradley still has no idea exactly when he'll be re-joining his Celtics teammates on the floor. But the progress he's making is undeniable, with the latest improvement being his ability to start shooting the ball -- something he said he had avoided prior to arriving in Turkey.

"I feel great," said Bradley, who is recovering from surgery on both shoulders and has not yet been cleared for contact.

"A lot of working, but I have to continue to get my shoulder stronger."

C's coach Doc Rivers said it'll be eight more weeks before he starts to concern himself with Bradley's return.

But Bradley is optimistic he'll be back sooner.

"I'm young and the healing process has been going well," Bradley said. "I've been listening to the doctors. So I definitely think I can be back early."

Bradley, who has yet to participate in a normal training camp either because of injuries or last year's lockout, has been patient throughout his recovery.

But now that he knows it is near, he acknowledges the waiting game is a lot tougher.

"Sitting on the sidelines watching my teammates . . . It's what I have to do," Bradley said. "It's a slow process. I gotta take my time, let my shoulder heal."

Bradley has said before that his left shoulder was initially in worse shape than the right one. But both, Bradley noted, are healing at about the same rate now.

The biggest issue for Bradley now is to strengthen both shoulders which would allow him to return to the floor and resume his role as an elite on-the-ball defender.

After having had to miss significant time due to injuries in two of his three NBA seasons, he's looking to put this particular injury bug behind him for good.

"When I come back, I know I'm going to be stronger so it doesn't happen again," said Bradley, who appeared in a team-high 64 regular season games last season. "I know if I rush myself, I'm not looking out for myself or for them."

Brad Stevens: Isaiah Thomas will get scan on hip in September

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Brad Stevens: Isaiah Thomas will get scan on hip in September

Appearing on The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, Brad Stevens said that Isaiah Thomas’ hip will be evaluated by the Celtics in September before the team decides how to proceed. 

The C’s were unsure of whether Thomas would require surgery on his right hip, which ended his postseason early. He has gone the offseason without surgery, so the C’s will look at it next month. 

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September when he arrives back here out east, and from there we will know an exact timeline," Stevens said. "Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.

Added Stevens: “We want what’s best for Isaiah. We want to make sure that when he is ready to roll, which hopefully is sooner rather than later, that he is ready to roll at his highest level and for the longest possible time, obviously, right? So that’s a lot more important to me than anything else.” 

Stevens said that the uncertainty of not knowing whether Thomas would need surgery was challenging, but that his priority was the player. 

“I don’t know if it was unnerving because you can only control what you can control, but it’s a big deal for me because it’s a big deal to him,” he said. “Ultimately, obviously you want to go into every season 110 percent healthy and we’ll find out where we stand with everybody, but more so you want what’s best for him.”