BOSTON - Delonte West didnt think it would take this long. Not a sprained ankle. He figured that would be a matter of days, not weeks.
West has been patiently anticipating his return since suffering the injury during a team walkthrough on February 27. Weeks later, he expects the wait to be coming to an end.
I should definitely be a go for Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, he said on Sunday.
West was able to participate in court work for the first time on Sunday prior to the Celtics-Bucks game. He still felt soreness, though, and was putting more pressure on the opposite leg during shooting to compensate. Being cautious, he did not think he would be ready to play against the Bucks or the following night against the New Jersey Nets.
Theres still a little bit of soreness in there, he said. I still dont have my explosiveness, being able to push off of it. I can gingerly go through drills, but theres not any putting that game pressure on it. So a few more days should be sufficient.
West (6.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.3 apg) had only played in three games since returning from a broken right (non-shooting) wrist when he sprained his right ankle. He realizes the time off has helped heal his initial injury, for which he still undergoes physical therapy and strengthening exercises to increase flexibility and work out scar tissue.
The one blessing about this whole thing is I get more time to rest and also strengthen my wrist, he said. I feel good. I havent even looked to put the brace on in the last week or so. I know Celtics trainer Eddie Lacerte is going to be on me in a minute -- Ill be wearing it Wednesday. But it feels strong, Im not even really favoring it right now. Thats the one positive about this ankle sprain.
West, who missed the first ten games serving a suspension, says he has stayed even keeled coping with his limited playing time. But when he does return, there is no hiding his enthusiasm for helping the Celtics against the Bucks
Its about putting myself in the position to help this team out in any way possible, he said. I think my ability to defend small and quick guards can help out some with my size, and also timely shooting, being able to spread the floor. We have a lot of that, but Im able to open that floor up for our scorers. Im looking to contribute more than just one aspect of the game.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA