Rivers: Wilcox will be limited vs. Trail Blazers

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Rivers: Wilcox will be limited vs. Trail Blazers

BOSTON The Boston Celtics are challenged enough as it is with the big men they have.

The last thing they need is for one of their frontcourt players to be out of the lineup, making the return of Chris Wilcox even more important.

Wilcox was unable to finish out Boston's 95-83 loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday due to being sick.

"It was like a 24-hour bug or something," Wilcox told CSNNE.com. "But I'm better now; much better now."

Maybe so, but C's head coach Doc Rivers is still reluctant to play him significant minutes tonight.

"Chris is not going to play much," Rivers said. "And honestly, if I don't have to play Chris I will not play Chris."

Wilcox did not participate in Boston's practice on Thursday, and was not at the team's shoot-around Friday morning.

His return to form is vital not only in what he brings to the floor, but also as it pertains to Kevin Garnett.

Garnett is the first player that Rivers subs out most games, with Wilcox being his replacement.

Without Wilcox, Rivers will likely go with a smaller player or possibly reserve center Jason Collins as Garnett's backup.

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

David Price may have allowed six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Wednesday night during his second rehab start in Triple-A, but the Red Sox apparently liked what they saw.

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Manager John Farrell announced moments ago that Price will rejoin the Red Sox Monday and start that day's game in Chicago against the White Sox. Farrell said the Sox were more concerned with how Price felt physically after his rehab start, not the results, and they're satisfied he's ready to return.

More to come . . . 

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."