Doc happy to have Perk back


Doc happy to have Perk back

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - Doc Rivers wasnt planning on having Kendrick Perkins in the rotation for Tuesdays game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it was an adjustment he was happy to make.

After learning of injury after injury this season on the Celtics, Rivers was glad to receive some good news - Kendrick Perkins was cleared to play ahead of schedule.

After the practice (on Monday), the doctors walked in and said they thought he should play, he said. I dont mind changing my mind.

Perkins will return more than a week ahead of his projected date of February 4. He will be limited between 12 to 16 minutes as he plays for the first time since injuring his right knee during Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

He looks pretty good, said Rivers. That was part of the reason they thought he should give it a go and ease him in with minutes. Hes on a minute restriction and well see how it goes.

Even though the Celtics starting five will not be on the court together at tip-off, Rivers looks forward to having all of them available to play.

Its just another piece were adding, is the way I look at it. he said. Thats great for us. So the healthier we can get, the better we can get, the more consistent we can become, and we can start growing. Its tough to grow as a team when half your team, or at least your bench, is not playing.

Perkins activation is not related to the injuries of Jermaine and Shaquille ONeal. Rather it is a matter of getting Perkins playing time so he can gain rhythm and be best prepared for the postseason.

Rivers will watch Perkins carefully to make sure he doesnt overextend himself in his return. There is one small issue, though, that he cant control.

Im just hoping he doesnt foul out in those little 16 minutes tonight, Rivers laughed. Which is very likely.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.