In the midst of a countless assortment of news last night coming out of TD Garden, the presence of Delonte West in the locker room after the game after he recently had the cast on his right arm removed easily stood to the forefront. Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald, gets us caught up with Danny Ainge and West as he talked to reporters after the game:
Delonte West had the cast on his fractured right wrist removed. General manager Danny Ainge said that it’s reasonable for the guard to aim for a return next month.
“I think (the All-Star break) sounds about right,” Ainge said. “He just got his cast off, so we have to see how it takes from here.”
West, though, simply wants to savor the short-term rewards for now, without looking too far ahead.
“It feels stiff, but it’s not painful,” West said. “I got great news from the doctors (yesterday, when the cast came off). They said maybe three weeks of rehabilitation, and then I can start doing more. I started working out, conditioning, ballhandling.
“Fortunately I’m left-handed, so I’m able to get shots on my left hand. It’s just a matter of time before I gain game strength in (the right) one.”
For now, though, West would rather not venture any thoughts about the All-Star break.
So what can you take from this Celtics fans? Well to start, three weeks is a lot different than the All-Star Break (post February 20th) at this point. I’m going to go ahead and make the not too crazy guess that Ainge is painting the more accurate picture here regarding West’s potential realistic return date.
You may remember reports from earlier last month where West insisted he would be coming back sometine in January, far before we could have expected. While I don’t doubt he’s way ahead of schedule, it still takes a good 2-3 months at minimum to regain enough strength in your wrist to handle playing a contact sport, much less an NBA game.
Take it from the wrist expert (me), a guy who has broken his right wrist 3 times altogether, including once after returning to an athletic field prematurely from, you guessed it, a broken wrist. I learned my lesson. And believe me, I’ll pull Delonte aside if I have to and warn him to take his time with this.
With the Celtics short on depth in the backcourt, they will be taking no chances here. And after a pretty brutal break like the one West endured in November, it will take several weeks of rehab to build up that strength again in what is luckily his non-shooting wrist.
A return around the All-Star break though and a chance to cut Rajon Rondo’s minutes once again while giving the team a legitimate backup point guard, will be news to Doc’s ears.
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