By A. Sherrod Blakely
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Avery Bradley, sporting scruffy facial hair and a mini-afro, is back with the Boston Celtics.
It's good to have a day free of talking about injuries involving the Boston Celtics . . . oh wait . . . not another one!
Prior to Monday night's game against the Bobcats, the Celtics announced that center Semih Erden is the latest player to be shelved with an injury.
The 7-foot rookie, who has started seven games this season, has a right adductor strain.
Erden, who has been hampered by groin issues all season, has an injury similar to one that forced Shaquille O'Neal to miss some action earlier this season.
Speaking of O'Neal, he, too, was out Mionday night's game. Rivers is contemplating having O'Neal sit out until after the All-Star break.
Without Erden and O'Neal -- not to mention Jermaine O'Neal, who recently had surgery on his left knee and will be out until sometime in late March or early April -- the C's are becoming increasingly thin in the frontcourt.
That means the C's will lean heavily on starters Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and key sub Glen Davis, to contribute on the boards.
Boston's depth took another blow Sunday afternoon when Marquis Daniels suffered a bruised spinal cord injury that will sideline him for 1-2 months.
Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said the plan now is to allow Daniels to simply rest his body.
"We'll have an update on Marquis in about a week or so," Ainge said.
To fill the roster spot left by Daniels, the Celtics brought Bradley back from the Development League.
The C's first-round pick from last June told CSNNE.com he had no idea what role, if any, he would play Monday night. And, in actuality, he had no role; he didn't play in the team's 94-89 loss.
Truth be told, he was just happy to make it to the arena on time.
Bradley flew from North Dakota, and arrived in the wee hours of Monday morning.
"It was tough," said Bradley, who appeared in nine games (six starts) with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. "But it was a good experience down there. I felt I was getting better for my team. Not only that, but some of those guys down there, they were helping me to get better and I was helping them."
As far as playing, Bradley said his mantra is no different now than it was prior to his D-League stint.
"Whatever they need me to do, I'm ready to do my best," Bradley said. "I'm ready."