According to Celtics coach Doc Rivers, there is a chance Avery Bradley will play his first game of the season when the Celts host Memphis at TD Garden Wednesday night. Bradley has been out the entire season after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.
Regarding Rajon Rondo, however, Rivers was unsure if the starting point guard would be available against the Grizzlies. Rondo is still battling through hip and thigh injuries suffered in the Celtics' loss to the Clippers last Thursday night in Los Angeles.
"We're just going by how our practice looks. If [Bradley] looks ready to start, he'll start, he's a starter. But if he doesn't, we'll wait," Rivers told reporters -- including ESPNBoston.com -- prior to Tuesday's practice in Waltham. "And also, right now, with Rondo and his hip, we don't even know what Rondo's going to do. We know we're not going to practice him today, and not sure if he'll play tomorrow. That takes on a whole different bit."
Bradley finished his second professional season in impressive style before succumbing to a shoulder injury. The Celtics went 20-8 after Bradley was inserted into the starting lineup on Jan. 20, averaging 12.3 points and a plus-4.6 points per game.
"I haven't said to our team one time, 'Guys, when Avery comes back ...' So that's from outside the gym, that's not from within the gym," Rivers said, later adding, "He takes away with his guy, unfortunately, there's four other guys on the floor. Avery's probably top five in the league in on-ball defense as far as pressure and not getting beat, the problem is there are four other guys on the floor at the same time. But if you can stop one of the guards from dribble penetrating, you're right, it has to help."
Rondo, who was clearly laboring upon returning to the Celtics' lineup in the game final game of their recent West Coast swing, expressed frustration to reporters regarding his ailment.
"When you get beat down the court by a big, you know, it's frustrating. But I'm OK. I'll be fine. It's nothing like I need surgery or anything. It's not that serious. It's just a bruise," he said. Rondo then explained, "I've never had this type of injury. I got kneed on my bone and it's just been nagging. Nothing too serious, but if affects me a little bit. Obviously, my style of play, which is speed, I'm not able to plant as quick as I would like to right now, but I've been getting treatment every day."
For more Celtics news, go to the team page at weei.com/celtics.
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