Perkins to start contact practice this week

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Perkins to start contact practice this week

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Kendrick Perkins is known for having a seemingly never-ending scowl on his face.

But prior to Monday night's game against Houston, Perkins was all smiles.

The reason?

Practice.

Yes, we're talking about practice.

Perkins told CSNNE.com that he has been cleared to start full contact practice with the team this week.

"I feel good about it," Perkins said. "Real good."

His return to full-contact practice is yet another signal that the Celtics' top interior defender will be back on the court fairly soon.

Perkins, who has not played since suffering torn ligaments in his right knee in Game Six of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers last June, told reporters recently that he hoped to be back on the floor by the end of this month.

If he's practicing with the team, that timetable seems very reasonable.

His return could not come at a better time for the Celtics.

Jermaine O'Neal is still having problems with his left knee, the kind of issues that O'Neal believes won't subside anytime soon.

"I can't wait to get back out there," Perkins said.

Celtics Nation feels the same way.

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

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.