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Delonte West To Return Next Month?

In the midst of an endless array of Celtics injury news A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com broke the news late last night that Delonte West’s recovery is progressing faster than any of us could have imagined:

While the Celtics have given no specific timetable for West’s return from a broken right (non-shooting) wrist injury, the Celtics guard tells CSNNE.com that his return to action will be ahead of schedule.

“Even though we’re (six) days out of surgery, I’m going to be back a lot quicker than we thought,” West told CSNNE.com.

When he initially suffered the injury on Nov. 24 against the New Jersey Nets, Celtics coach Doc Rivers feared West would be out for the rest of the regular season.

Following surgery on Nov. 30, the outlook for his return has picked up considerably.

West said the wrist is healing up so well, there won’t be any need for it to be placed in a hard cast.

“Just stimulate it with treatments, and I’ll be back to working out within the next two weeks,” said West, who added that he’ll have it in a soft cast when he resumes working out.

While it certainly remains a longshot, it’s not totally out of the question that the 6-foot-3 guard could return the court before the end of this month.

So how do we take this news?

Well first off, it’s important to note that as encouraging as Delonte’s self diagnosis is here, we didn’t hear at all from the C’s training staff or front office in this report. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that Delonte is ahead of schedule, but it’s fair to say Delonte’s expectations for his return may be above and beyond what is physically possible after surgery.

That being said, West does have a history of being a fast healer. The former Cavs broke his right wrist during the 2008-09 season on January 15th and returned to action just over a month later on February 22nd, putting up an impressive 25 points in his return. West continued his hot shooting that year, serving as one of Cleveland’s most reliable scorers during that postseason run before falling to Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Thus, it’s safe to say a standard has been set here by West. Still, it’s also necessary to point out that West did not have surgery to repair his wrist in that instance. I speak on this matter only because I have too much experience when it comes to broken wrists, having broken mine multiple times and needing surgery to repair the damage on it on one occasion.

Obviously it would be foolish to compare out situations directly, but I too never had my arm placed in a hard cast after surgery, instead just wore a brace for multiple weeks following the procedure. Still, despite that encouraging element, there was still weeks upon weeks of physical therapy that was needed to ensure full movement was regained in the wrist. Once again, that may or may not be necessary for Delonte depending on the extent of his break. Judging from what we saw on TV though and the early return expectations from Doc, I would be shocked if the PT wasn’t necessary.

All this being said, I would expect West to get started on these workouts quickly with his fast healing. The worst thing you could do with a broken wrist is return prematurely, leaving it open to re-fracturing (something again I’ve known too well about) so expect the C’s to be overly cautious in this department with West. Still, if the strong prognosis means D. West is returning closer to the All-Star break than the end of the season, that’s good news for Rivers and Rajon Rondo’s various ailments. We should know more at practice today where we will have a full report for you.

  • JP-

    This could be great news, if he really is that close. I would think though, that it is better to give him as much time as he needs because we will need Delonte for the playoffs and the risk of re-injury is enough to keep him on the shelf a little longer. Maybe he can give some of his magic recovery potion to Jermaine O'Neal, he will need it.

  • John Evans

    This is encouraging news, though I would love to get Delonte back as soon as possible, I'd rather he and the entire Celtics' team rest their injuries, there's no need for them to be juggernauts and dominate the regular season. I'd rather be a healthy 5th seed than crawl into the postseason as a hobbling 1st seed.

    • Zain

      Exactly. We don't want to replicate the Cavaliers last 2 seasons.

      Also, the lowest seed Boston can get is the 4th Seed as long as they win the Atlantic. Considering we're up 4 games already, and a long way to go..that's almost a given.

    • Kobe's Daddy

      While i do somewhat agree, the celtcs really shouldn't take that 'whichever seed is fine' approach just for the simple fact that homecourt matters against the lakers. Now, you could even make the argument that ONLY team homecourt really matters against is the lakers, but we still need it. That's why having all the pieces to our bench (like DWest and JO) is so important. It allows us to go for both goals at the same time; resting starters for playoff AND competing hard to secure homecourt. Last year we had to chose one over the other but with a competent bench, we can do both because the droppoff of play between units is almost non existent with such a great bench. This is GREAT news

  • Chris

    I'd like to see him back after the all-star break (perk too), it's not too early. If he is truly ahead of scheldule

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