Plenty of news from Waltham today after the C’s enjoyed a rare two consecutive days from practice and games over the weekend. Let’s get to it all though, courtesy of some timely quotes by the always reliable Chris Forsberg over at ESPNBoston:
-Delonte West to undergo surgery: Doc Rivers today confirmed the the C’s backup point guard would have surgery performed on the compound fracture in his right wrist tomorrow. Doc commented today the team would know more about the timetable once the surgery has been performed.
I’ll talk about this more a little more extensively later, but let me put on my doctor hat for a minute, while talking about the timetable for Delonte. Before you start calling me a quack, I will let you know that I have
1) Broken my right wrist on three different occasions
2) One of these breaks was a compound fracture, which I, (you guessed it!) had surgery on
So as you can see I know a thing or two, a little bit too much probably, about breaking your wrist. There are many different ways you can fracture it, I did it in virtually every way imaginable, but the compound fracture was easily the worst, both painwise and in recovery time.
Based on my experience, my guess is Delonte will not even be placed in a cast following the procedure. The newer procedures involve a plate being inserted into the wrist to reset the wrist and help heal the bone. You get a nice 2-3 inch scar on the inside of your wrist for your trouble, but no cast, just a brace you have to wear 24/7 for a couple months.
The tough part about the compound fracture though most people don’t realize, is that it involves a ton of physical therapy to re-gain full range of motion and strength which is virtually non-existent after the surgery. It’s tedious, it’s painful and it takes awhile. The good news is Delonte is a tireless worker and will undoubtedly work his butt off to get up to speed with Celtics doctors and his PT crew.
However, it’s a process that makes me believe in order for the team to maximize his capability for the rest of the season (i.e. playoffs), plan on seeing him in March at the earliest. Again this is all speculation on my part, but sadly it’s more than just an educated guess.
Shaq Plays Hooky? Two days off were apparently not enough for The Big Diesel as O’Neal had an unexcused absence this afternoon. Here’s Doc, courtesy of Mr. Forsberg:
“He got the times mixed up,” said Rivers. “He missed one, so he owes us one. We’re good.”
Rivers even kept it light when asked about potential punishment.
“No, I was going to spank him, but it might not hurt,” Rivers joked. “It may hurt me.”
Doc elaborated a little bit more on dealing with someone missed a practice.
“Yeah [it's frustrating], but you get over it,” said Rivers. “Listen, if the guy had a history of something, then you’d deal with it differently. But when the guy doesn’t have a history of something — it happens. It’s life, you move on. If you have a history of [missing practice], we deal with it,” said Rivers. “It’s a human game, it always will be. I don’t have a set rule for one guy or two guys. Each guy is an individual basis, is what I’m saying. You deal with it that way. You put money in the bank and, if you’re a guy that tends to use up your money, then [the leash] is a little shorter.”
I want to give Shaq the benefit of the doubt here, just like Doc is. However, this was just really bad timing. The C’s uniformly had their practices at 11am and noon all year. They were coming off two days off. And the C’s are clearly shorthanded with injuries to West, Perk and Jermaine O’Neal. That’s a bad day to miss practice, especially when your team is leaving for Cleveland that afternoon (Shaq made the plane).
Still if Doc says it’s no big deal, I’ll take him at his word. The guy is shooting 71 percent from the field this month so he deserves the slack.
Jermaine and Rondo Injury Updates: A few quick updates on both guys, starting with the other O’Neal, who Doc doesn’t apparently talk too much:
“No, he’s in town, he’s working out, and doing all the stuff he should be doing,” said Rivers. “But I haven’t even checked [on his status], honestly. He’s not playing this week, I can tell you that. I told Eddie, ‘I don’t really need to hear it until he’s a week out,’ because there’s nothing I can do,” said Rivers. “I want to focus on the guys on the floor.”
Pressed if Jermaine O’Neal could be back before the end of the calendar year, Rivers expressed confidence.
“I’m not thinking about that, but I’m very confident of that,” said Rivers.
So 2-3 weeks is turning into 4-6 weeks, and to be frank I’ve fine with that. Semih Erden is getting beat up a lot for it now, gutting it out with his shoulder injury, but O’Neal is the guy you want healthy when it counts, so you might as well wait it out now while you can. If one more big man goes down, there’s obviously trouble, but the team can get by for now. I wonder why Doc doesn’t like checking in on Jermaine though. Do they even talk when they walk by each other at the practice facility? Awkward….
From the center position, to point guard Rajon Rondo who is still battling plantar fasciitis in his foot:
“He feels pretty good, but the foot is still the bigger issue,” said Rivers. “The hamstring is fine, for the most part. But with [plantar fasciitis], you have to be diligent. We do give him rest. Today, we only had 11 guys, which sucks, it hurts your practice. It means most of your guys are on the practice floor the entire practice. That’s not the way you want to go”
11 PLAYERS? SHAQ!!!! WHERE WERE YOU?!?!? Let’s talk to Rajon about how he feels:
“It’s still there, but once my adrenaline is going, it doesn’t bother me,” said Rondo. “[Lacerte] does a great job of taping it. I’ll be fine. It’ll probably be with me throughout the season.”
With a smile he added, “[Lacerte] said it will probably go away in July, once I have time to rest.”
I like the confidence. This is really the department in which Delonte’s injury hurts the team the most though. Ideally, some extended rest for the plantar problem is the best cure, but West’s absence really handcuffs Rivers in that department if he still wants to win games.
Since resting Rondo means starting Nate (fine) but also playing Avery backup minutes (not fine…if you want to win) or extending the minutes of Ray/Paul if Marquis handles the point. Both are unideal situations. I’ll have a full breakdown of these rotation issues tomorrow morning. For now though, it’s going to be a tough couple months for Doc managing minutes.