Kendrick Perkins has been cleared to start practice this week. The latest news likely signals a return by the end of the month. (CSNNE)
Perkins told CSNNE.com that he has been cleared to start full contact practice with the team this week.
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.
Throughout his recovery, Perk pointed to Wes Welker as motivation. If Welker could make it back in six months, why not Perk? If Welker could make such a huge impact immediately following rehab, why not Perk? Finally, Perk’s within shouting distance of his return.
For the Celtics, the timing couldn’t be better. Jermaine O’Neal has struggled with injuries all season, and has scored in double figures exactly twice this season. Yes, twice. Shaq’s production, though he played well last night, has dropped since his strong November. And Semih Erden seems to have completely lost Doc Rivers’ faith.
The Celtics’ once-deep stable of bigs now relies on two old, inconsistent centers, Glen Davis (who suddenly thinks he’s the Celtics’ best scorer), and Luke Harangody (who still looks like Buzz from Home Alone). With Kevin Garnett set to return, the power forward problems will diminish significantly. But Doc Rivers, and the Celtics, could use Perk.
Unfortunately, Perk recently came down with the flu. (ESPN Boston)
Celtics center Kendrick Perkins is battling the flu, which might slightly detour his plan to resume full-team, full-contact practice sessions for the first time since tearing his right ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June. After waiting six months for his knee to heal so he could get back on the court, it might be hard for a viral infection to detour him Tuesday.
After this many months without basketball, I imagine Perk would have to be hospitalized to sit out practice. We’ll see you soon, Perk. We need you, sir.