Delonte West returns to practice for Celtics

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Delonte West returns to practice for Celtics

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics were down to just 10 healthy bodies in Wednesday's practice.

Fortunately for them, one of them was Delonte West.

The 6-foot-3 guard participated in his first full contact practice since suffering a broken right (non-shooting) wrist injury on Nov. 24 against New Jersey.

Still, don't expect West to be on the floor any time soon.

"He won't play tomorrow against the Lakers or probably will not play until after the break," said coach Doc Rivers. "But at least he had his first practice. "We told them, 'No reaching,' which is impossible with some of our guys. But other than that, we got through it."

With Paul Pierce not at practice on Thursday because he was under the weather and Marquis Daniels out with a bruised spinal cord injury, West's conditioning was put to the test immediately because the C's didn't really have the ability to substitute players in and out.

"I had to get on out there sooner than I expected, but I definitely surprised myself," West said. "I was able to go full contact. I got in there, scrapped it around with the big guys a little bit."

One of the last players to leave the gym after most practices, conditioning is not going to be an issue for West.

However, his timing is admittedly not where it needs to be which isn't all that surprising when you consider Wednesday was his first contact practice.

"A lot of things working at the same time; re-think the plays and also dealing with this starting five, one of the best defenses in the league. That's the way to welcome you back," West said.

His return can not come soon enough to a Celtics team that has played short-handed all season.

While West's return date is targeted for after the All-star break, he admitted he wouldn't mind getting on the floor sooner.

"If it was up to me, I'm confident in playing tomorrow against the Lakers," West said.

West expressed that confidence to Rivers as well as Ed Lacerte, the C's head trainer.

They weren't as convinced.

And if you listen to West, it's clear that he's not totally sold on the idea that he can come back and make the kind of impact that the C's will need in order to win.

"My timing was off; familiarity with the plays wasn't 100 percent," West said. "I guess in a game like tomorrow, we need 'for-sures' out there."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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.