Rivers: Garnett doubtful for Wednesday's game

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Rivers: Garnett doubtful for Wednesday's game

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM It looks like the long-awaited return of Kevin Garnett may not be as soon as the Boston Celtics thought.

Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings would be within the two-week time frame since he suffered the injury, but coach Doc Rivers said he doubts Garnett will play.

"He's just not ready yet," Rivers said. "He's close, very close."

Such words ring hollow with Celtics fans, remembering all too well similar proclamations made a couple years ago when Garnett was battling a right knee injury that kept him out longer than anyone anticipated.

He ultimately wound up missing 25 games that season, and the entire playoffs.

Not only is he now dealing with a different injury, but the Celtics' approach has changed as well.

While there is concern, it doesn't appear to be the level that we're accustomed to seeing when a star player gets hurt.

Shortly after the injury, an X-ray was taken and it showed no fractured bones. He was later given an MRI, and those results didn't do anything to change their diagnosis that two weeks off should be good enough to help some of that soreness heal.

While Garnett did participate in some of the skeleton offensive sets, he was not on the floor when the Celtics went live.

During that time, he was riding a treadmill in addition to getting in some additional work on the weight room.

Rivers reiterated that he likes what he sees from Garnett thus far.

But not enough to play him, apparently.

"He could play tomorrow," Rivers said. "I don't think he will, but there's a chance."

Rivers had similar doubts earlier this month about Rajon Rondo.

Rondo had missed seven games with a left ankle sprain, and Rivers was expecting him to miss an eighth at Toronto on Jan. 2. Before the game, Rivers said he didn't plan on playing him. But conversations between Rivers, Rondo and team trainer Ed Lacerte, convinced Rivers to give Rondo a shot at playing. The Celtics won with Rondo playing nearly 40 minutes.

No Kevin Garnett means we'll see more of Glen Davis in the starting lineup.

Davis has taken his collective bumps and bruises of late for shooting more than any other Celtic.

Rivers has talked about cutting Davis' minutes back some, and doing so by playing a smaller lineup that included either Marquis Daniels or Nate Robinson.

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

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”